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Luca Antonucci's "The New Nothing" opens at Cain Schulte Contemporary Art
The artist’s first solo exhibition at the gallery features a series of large-scale blank embossments of star clusters, exploring the texture of distant galaxies.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA.- Cain Schulte Contemporary Art presents THE NEW NOTHING, an exhibition of new work by Luca Antonucci on view from February 9 through March 10, 2012.

The artist’s first solo exhibition at the gallery features a series of large-scale blank embossments of star clusters, exploring the texture of distant galaxies. The images depict galaxies photographed by way of gravitational lensing effect, reaching further in to space than the most powerful telescope.

This body of work not only elaborates on the significance of the imagery, as these deep portraits of the universe mark the end of the cosmological dark ages, it also attests to the artist’s ongoing exploration of the notions of fear and romanticism in the universe. Each blank embossment undergoes a deconstruction process, first by being stripped of its empirical data, and then transferred to a polymer plate so that only the light remains. This process explores the underlying meaning of the image, while guarding us against the beauty of the whole as a romantic assumption. What we are left with is our own idealized image of the Universe, instead of any semblance of a "real" universe.

The exhibition will also include a continuation of Antonucci’s book, The Reason of Sleep, which are impressions of pillowcases from a week's worth of sleep. This second series of work expands on the relationship between romanticism and technical science already introduced by his blank embossments. Using his body as a printing medium, Antonucci embosses sheets of paper, keeping a record of his dormant motion. For the book, the resulting paper is first scanned, made into a photopolymer plate and then printed by way of a letterpress with a parallel process emulating the weight of one’s head. In this way, the original idea carries over to the printing process, and the prints demonstrate a symmetrical relationship in which process and concept are equal. Through a continuation of this series, Antonucci reduces the process even further, creating impressions of his entire body.

Luca Antonucci (b. New York, 1983) received his MFA from San Francisco Art Institute in 2010. His work has been shown throughout the Bay Area and abroad, notably in Berlin at the Culturia Art Institute. His practice is marked by a deep interest in conceptual practice inspired by scientific issues and conceptually transposed into experimentation in printmaking. He has a forthcoming show at San Francisco Art Commission (Vast and Undetectable), and a lecture series at Stanford University (L.A.S.E.R Lecture Series on First Light). He is the founder of Colpa Press, a publishing company specializing in limited edition prints and books. Antonucci currently lives and works in San Francisco, CA.

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