Some USA Stories is the name that Argentinian painter Fabian Marcaccio (*1963, Rosario de Santa Fe, lives and works in New York, USA) has given to his latest exhibition, which he has developed specially for Kunstmuseen Krefeld. It consists of a suite of 12 works that tackle themes from the dark side of recent American history. The Mexican drug war, the Waco disaster in Texas, the mass suicide commanded by Jim Jones in Guyana, the Fallujah massacre, and the Columbine High School shootings mark the social explosiveness that can be read from these monumental paintings. As in his earlier pieces and constellations of works, the content that is conveyed is closely linked with reflections on the media that are employed. Thus the social themes just mentioned can only be gleaned when the works are viewed from a distance, because the images rise up out of an extremely dense colour mass that always remains present in its own terms.
In his latest works, Marcaccio has employed painting surfaces with an extremely coarse structure, woven from thick manila rope and climbing lines. As a result, the picture carriers can be worked from both the front and the back. At times the colour mass is pressed through the open weave structure so that it interacts with the painted sections and silicone appliqués that have been woven into the front of the pictures. Marcaccio has invented a pressing machine for silicone that enables him to produce a variety of relief-like elements. This method creates a truly monstrous presence, that physically engulfs the viewer. Marcaccio produces painted hybrids that remain neither purely visual illusions nor concrete things - but that convey highly precarious contents while simultaneously altering and abstracting them. The pictures' in many respects ambivalent status highlights the relationship between media event and the actual meaning of the reasons behind it.
The impulses for self-reflection on the media he employs and for expanding the painting into space became apparent early on in Marcaccio's work. Already at the beginning of the 1990s he made object-like pieces which were simultaneously painted picture, modelled relief and reproduced print. The painter has also managed for instance to occupy physical space by hanging up certain of his paintings in tent-like constellations. Up to the middle of the 1990s Marcaccio worked chiefly with the technique of collography, a kind of monotype in which relief forms are transposed to the picture carrier by means of a printing press. Marcaccio designates these works 'paintants', a term he made up from the words 'painting' and 'mutant'.
Since the latter half of the 1990s, Marcaccio has increasingly produced works based round computer-generated images. This allows him to incorporate elements from photography and journalism into his imagery. Photos of demonstrations, aerial shots of cities, but also the extreme interweaving of micro- and macro-structures are typical of this new form of work in which painterly tradition and new media mingle subversively. In 2002 Marcaccio became known to a wider audience through a staging of his painting extending out into space at the documenta 11.
A catalogue in English and German will appear during the course of the exhibition containing a text by Martin Hentschel and a documentation of all the exhibited works.