Roots – Essse Caffè Store


Studio Carlotta Pesce is pleased to present an outstanding example of synergism between art and business: a Bologna-based company, Essse Caffè, invited a young artist, Francesco Geronazzo, of Venetian origins but living and working in the Emilia region in Northern Italy, to create a project specially designed for the recently restored historic headquarters of the family-owned Segafredo coffee roasting business, in via Galliera, Bologna.

The company’s history and the artist’s life experience intertwine and overlap right from the title of the exhibition project: ROOTS – intended as symbolic elements that evoke the concept of origin, of a starting point. Coffee grounds, personally recovered by the artist at the factory, create tonal variations in a set of small sculptures: delicate organic shapes created from casts of roots that the artist gathered in Australia. The experience of living in Australia was a turning point in the personal and artistic life of the author and possibly a place where to put down his roots.

Fragments of natural elements such as a seed shape, a stone or small shrubs, often recur in Francesco Geronazzo’s art. The artist, through an extremely personal use of ancient printmaking techniques, creates intensely poetic images, consisting of one-of-a-kind, unique, original and deliberately imperfect items – to emphasise the hands-on and craft-like dimension of his work. In his research work, the art of printmaking, sculpture and installation combine in a single poetic vision, mingling natural elements and life memories – in a slow, archaic process in stark contrast to the image production and reproduction options allowed by modern technology.

Next to the sculptures, coffee plant impressions on lightweight, recycled paper, and ground coffee used as a pigment together with roasting waste, characterise two other monotype prints of a circle on crude linen – a design at the same time inspired by the shape of the coffee containers at the historic roasting factory and a symbol of perfection, harmony, and infinity. Once again, the artist created a deliberately imperfect image that suggests the unpredictability and transience of natural elements.