A prominent member of the Italian branch of the neo-expressionist movement, or “Transavanguardia,” is Enzo Cucchi, who since 1980 has painted alone in an empty church near the Adriatic Sea. He tends to be skeptical about the world and rarely travels, but from his secluded vantage point, he takes pleasure in reading about myths and legends while contemplating the inspirational Italian countryside. The deep, lush colors of the landscape underscore the highly energized subject matter, which produces an intense and evocative painting.

This work refers to the Greek myth in which the hunter Actaeon inadvertently observed the goddess Artemis bathing. She angrily turned him into a stag, and he was killed by his own dogs. Here, the naked hunter is about to be crushed by the oncoming train, a metaphor for primitive man being defeated by the wheels of progress and civilization.
Artist Enzo Cucchi
Italian, born 1950
Title
  • Quadro Feroce
Date 1980
Medium oil on canvas
Dimensions Overall: 79 × 144 1/2 inches (200.7 cm × 3 m 67 cm)
Credit Line Founders Society Purchase, gift of Mrs. George Kamperman by exchange
Accession Number 1992.212
Department Contemporary Art after 1950
Not On View
The artist;
Galerie Bruno Bischofberger (Zurich, Switzerland);
Private collection (United Kingdom);
(Margaret Lipworth Fine Art, Boca Raton, Florida, United States);
1992-present, purchase by the Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, Michigan, USA)
Rouzaud, Jean and Laugier, Emile. "Vive La Peinture-Peinture." Actuel no. 23 (September 1981): ill. p. 84.

Flood, Richard. "Revies." Artforum XIX, no. 9 (May 1981): ill. p. 69.

Ratcliff, Carter. "Things You Should Know: European Imports." TWA Ambassador 14, no. 11 (November 1981): ill. p. 54.

"Sandro Chia - Francesco Clemente - Enzo Cucchi." Exh. cat., Kunsthalle Bielefeld. Bielefeld, Germany, 1983, cat. no. 32, ill. p. 83.