Currently not on view

Occidental Deposit

1986Oil on canvas and metal
259 x 701 x 5 cm

Enzo Cucchi is one of the main representatives of the Italian Transvanguardia movement, along with Sandro Chia, Francesco Clemente, Nicola De Maria, and Mimmo Paladino. This group began working at a time when the obligation to opt for the new had disappeared—when the productive rhythm of economies had begun to slow and the world was gripped by a series of crises that laid bare the productive frenzy of all ideological systems, including the so-called crisis of art.

Cucchi considers that the function of art consists of the very possibility of tearing down that barrier, of opening it up to the vital decomposition of other images that, like Chinese boxes, are dynamic, unpredictable, and unimaginable. The artist, given his nature, must begin in a landscape of ruins; only there can he also begin to create a constructive project. In Cucchi's opinion, art needs a previous catastrophe to wipe out pre-existing structures and reduce them, in the cordiality of deleterious findings, in order to subsequently manipulate the elements of a work that can then move freely between painting and sculpture. The creative force cannot invent anything from nothing, but it can humanly assemble elements that were previously at odds with each other.

Occidental Deposit (Deposito occidentale) is a painting completed in 1986; a heroic climate reigns in it, as in other of his works, engulfed by a storm and a temperature that only the strongest images can control. The path across the surface of the picture, within the threshold of the painting, indicates the birth of a new life, or at least a new condition. There are no more small sensations or soft and delicate feelings, but rather an environment that forges each element and shifts it to a new climate that is boldly defined and delimited. Occidental Deposit was featured in the monographic exhibition on Enzo Cucchi held at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, that same year. This work was placed in the rotunda along with a sculpture. The theme of the installation revolved around the notion of travel. Occidental Deposit represents, by means of images and the inclusion of a metal wheel, an epic imagery that seeks to make a reference to the new world.

Original title

Deposito occidentale




Oil on canvas and metal


259 x 701 x 5 cm

Credit line

Guggenheim Bilbao Museoa Gift of Bruno Bischofberger, Zurich, in Thomas Krens's honor