Italian painter and sculptor born in Morro d'Alba in the Marches. His early work was Conceptual, but in the late 1970s he returned to painting and became one of the leading Italian Neo-Expressionists. He is unwilling to explain his paintings, but Norman Rosenthal has argued that they should be understood in the context of the landscape around Ancona where he grew up and where he has continued to work for much of the time. Italy, Rosenthal suggests, is for Cucchi, not its great classical past, but ‘an empire burned to the ground, where even the phoenix of creative life seems to be charred’ (Braun, 1989). Stupid Picture (1982, Marx collection, Berlin) has a gigantic sleeping head, somewhere between Brancusi and classical sculpture, in repose on top of a giant grain silo. Like his contemporary Paladino, Cucchi is a master of dark burning colours, here invoking a kind of apocalypse.