The San Diego Union Tribune review on Siro Cugusi exhibition

Italian artist Siro Cugusi speaks 'visual language' at Lux abstract paintings of Italian artist Siro Cugusi defy a clear definition. The colors and textures suggest dreamlike, imaginary scenes with a variety of shapes that seem both real and surreal.
“Siro’s paintings do not correspond with reality,” agreed Reesey Shaw, the director of Lux Art Institute. His works “derive from his dreams, subconscious, fleeting thoughts and abstract ideas. He rejects traditional narrative painting to demonstrate his own personal language.”

Cugusi, the current Lux resident artist, uses canvas, wood, pages from books and varied types of paper as a base. His paintings often have a combination of oils and other media, including acrylics, spray paint, enamel, pencils and pastels, applied in multiple layers. The result is not so much a picture, but a state of thoughts and feelings he calls a “visual language.”
Generally, art gallery visitors are accustomed to looking at an abstract painting, and then reading the title to learn what it represents. Cugusi, however, does not give his works a name. Each is assigned a letter or a number or both.

“I do not want people to lock in on the name of the painting,” Cugusi said through a translator. “I do not want them to think about the concept based on the title. My paintings are a kind of visual language. People will see the concepts and the colors. They will see the steps and the layers. They will clearly see the whole process. An exhibit of 12 Cugusi paintings is on view through March 18. Cugusi is living and working in the artist’s pavilion through Feb. 18. Three days a week, visitors can meet him and see him create a large oil painting for Lux.
The artist refers to himself as a forager of ideas and feelings, which he collects in notes, photos and sketches of memories, events and people.
“My art results from all my experiences everywhere I go,” Cugusi said. “I am in constant search for inspiration. I collect impressions of my everyday life and absorb what is around me.” Those thoughts and memories will find a way into his work, sometimes years later. Siro Cugusi is from Sardinia, an island off Italy. He has studied and exhibited in cities such as Florence and Paris. He values what he learned in these places, “but I realized how different and frenetic a big city is,” he said.
“Sardinia is calm and relaxed. I can connect with nature. It provides an isolation so that I can do the art I want to do without contaminating influences.”
Shaw noticed Cugusi’s work during her many art exploration travels. He seemed a perfect choice to be part of the 10th anniversary of the artist-in-residence program’s global theme.
“We particularly look for artists from unusual places using unexpected materials with unique visions,” she said. “Siro is a painter of unusual imagination and scale.
“I was intrigued and excited to bring him from a town of 3,000 in Sardinia to do a project with Lux.”
“I am grateful to have the chance to be here, in San Diego,” Cugusi said. “All my experiences here will become a part of me.”
His time at Lux has already given him a fresh outlook. He said he is using colors he hasn’t used in years.
The artist described his personal process of painting in terms of being a father creating a son.
“My paintings are my sons,” Cugusi said. “To create something means to give form to something that does not have a form. To give form is to give life.”

The San Diego Union Tribune
Arts Culture
February 5, 2017 Installation view, Siro Cugusi
Siro Cugusi exhibition at Lux Art Institute Museum pavillion:
In studio: Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017 to Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017

Exhibition: Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017 to Saturday, March 18, 2017
Studio series: Thursday, Feb. 9, 20

Lux Art Institute
1550 South El Camino Real
Encinitas, CA

Awkward, Anna Zorina Gallery

Anna Zorina Gallery is pleased to announce Awkward, a group exhibition curated by Shaun Ellison. The exhibition features eight painters that are united in the pursuit of denying technical conventions of realism. Instinct, direct perception and spontaneous feeling guide each artist’s mark making. This allows for unexpected, and at times, ungraceful elements to emerge from within their subjective conceptions of the world. The impulsiveness with which the artists express their immediate sensations unlocks the potential to portray a perspective that is intimate and unapologetically awkward.
Siro Cugusi – “Awkward relates to the original gesture. I believe the original gesture is the best. It has to do with imprecision, transience, incompleteness and imperfection. Awkward means uncertainty and truth at the same time.”
John Bradford – “When, early on, I started painting from my imagination, I gave up the fluid hand that happens when responding to nature and it was difficult. It felt artificial and, yes, awkward. I eventually got back the hand but with texture and rigor added. I also kept the awkward; it felt natural.”
Katherine Bradford - “To paint in an awkward style means a loose handling of paint and a forgiving attitude toward surprise mishaps. Somehow these turn out to be just what we wanted but couldn’t have imagined.”
Shaun Ellison – “Awkward to me means: a vulnerability to the process and an openness to accidents.” William Hawkins – “You paint as you go.”
Paul Housley – “Being awkward I would use the word difficult. It’s a place that lies between desire and attainment. But my foolishness is my own, and belongs to no God, not even the ones of Painting.”
Cristina Lama – “Awkward, in painting, as unifying concept, I think it alludes to an intuitive way of tackling the work, without complexes and with an implicit will to get away from any academic restraint, precepts and dogmas, just responding to fundamentally pictorial guidelines as a nontransferable language.”
 Tim Stoner – “I'm not that interested in logic or any level of self deconstruction when I am actually making the work, I feel that painting is a moment, or a series of moments that work when one is unanchored from the rules of style or language.”

Anna Zorina Gallery
West 23 Street, 533
New York NY 10011 United States

Siro Cugusi solo exhibition at Lux Art Institute Museum pavilion

Siro Cugusi exhibition at Lux Art Institute Museum pavilion:
In studio: Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017 to Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017

Exhibition: Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017 to Saturday, March 18, 2017
Studio series: Thursday, Feb. 9, 20

Lux Art Institute
1550 South El Camino Real
Encinitas, CA