Ticino Management from June 2006
by Dr. Giorgio Mollisi
Entrepreneurship in art
The painting of Picchio is the result or the view of an entrepreneur who, after becoming an artist, transfers to the canvas the same vitality, which he used until a few years ago to put into his company.
He has passed forty years at the top of his company Interroll with only one regret: the one not to have chosen the career to become an artist. In 2001 his dream, which he had already when he was a young student, when his paintings win a premium in an exhibition, became now true. Dieter Specht, as artist “Picchio”, - the translation of his last name - , finally made it and since 5 years, after leaving the company and transferring the management of the group to the young CEO Paul Zumbühl, he paints and exposes his works in all the world from Ticino to New York, from Rome to Dubai, from Barcelona to Montreal…
Today Specht is only artist and works in his studio in Arcegno and in the world he travels no longer for his occupation as manager but for making known his artwork. Also a hard work…
Corriere della Sera, of 13th June 2006
The style in segments from Picchio
and the end of the painting
… the ongoing discussion about the supposed end of painting gives a particularly contemporary feel to the work of Picchio (Dieter Specht)… Just the style which he choose, goes in the observation that the reality surrounding us is largely defined by the vertical. It is vertical forms which dominate such different phenomena as the silhouettes of many cities and of old villages with their jumble of streets, statistics represented in the form of bar charts, the way stock exchange prices are listed and of course in the ubiquitous newspaper column. This emphasis on space is also evident in Picchio’s deliberately lavish application of the paint using a pallet knife and the integration of collage… A particular hallmark of Picchio’s work are his three-dimensional ‘torn’ pictures based on a technique which can also be applied to spatial objects. He covers the surface with canvas strips which can be folded out from the top, the bottom, the center and even diagonally and which can then be hardened using epoxy resin and painted. The formal possibilities offered by this process are every bit as varied as the associations which they can evoke. What was concealed appears to be disclosed, what was disguised is unveiled, and beauty that was hidden is now revealed. The catalogue is attended by Martin Kraft.
Giornale del Popolo, 30th January 2006
“Anche l’Arte è un’impresa” (Also Art is an enterprise)
by Corrado Biachi Porro
...GdP.: “What do you think about sponsoring?”
Picchio: “This depends on the sector in which you are working. An artist produces every day something new. A manager of a company has instead his limits... Managers can learn a lot from artists. In those companies in which you find art, the climate and the work is more creative... Sponsoring instead is pure publicity or passion.
In Interroll we want to show, that we can influence the corporate culture by art. We like to embed the employees and the business friends into our atmosphere and ambiance, to feel confident and feel the beauty. To make money is necessary, but fortunately it’s not the only one.”
GdP.: “Means art something real?”
Picchio: “I paint nearly everything abstract, thing which have never exist before. I like it to produce new things. I could never make the same thing twice.”
GdP.: “Are people more sensitive for abstract paintings today?”
Picchio: “Yes, because today we have the photography, also digital. Figurative things we can easily be photographed. But abstract paintings are always new and I like it to play with colors...
Secolo d’Italia, 1st February 2004
“Appuntamenti con l’Arte”
by Prof. Renato Civello, Art Critic
Picchio [Dieter Specht]: instinct and severity
In a Gallery where work is done constantly only to a selection of qualitative order, the Tondinelli of via Quattro Fontane in Rome, inaugurates Wednesday the solo exhibition of the famous German artist, Picchio [Dieter Specht], who lives and produces in Arcegno, in the Canton Ticino (Switzerland). After this second presence in Italy (in 2003 he has participated with success at the Biennale Internazionale of Florence), Picchio will expose, from March, 8th to April, 2nd also in Portugal, in Lisbon, in a public institution.
The title given to the actual appointment, Segments, could induce in deception: it could be thought of geometric divisions of the painted surface, something of similar to the experience seen in the first decade of last century by the group of the so-called “golden session”, with Leger, Metzinger, Fresnaye and others, an experience that marks the passage from the analytical cubism to the synthetic one. But the complex operations of geometric-mathematics that in some way is even shaped in sure meditated abstractionism and in dada are substantially strangers to the painting of Picchio [Dieter Specht]. Here is neither adventure, neither coding; in spite of the meticulous programming of the work, “very present and defined from the beginning”, on the supply of the energetic temperament of the artist, ready to organize his own work” it is the creative instinct that at last governs the poetic-fantastic result. It counts, of the rest, that these paintings consist of a compensated professionality and that they are objectively considerable.
I limit myself to quote, between the others, “Crash”, a much beautiful one, even if the term, that means crash, breach, bang, seems to contradict the delicate, vaporous charisma of the acrylic work. Segments, which gives the title to the entire exhibition, suggests, at everyone’s discretion the idea of a severe withdrawal of the usual cliché of imitation.
Il Giornale d’Italia
Paintings and installations, as searched continuously for abstraction.
The work of Picchio [Dieter Specht] is for sure of great impact in the exhibition near the roman gallery Tondinelli, who exhibits a series of paintings and installations. It's the fruit of his continuous search for the abstraction. The exhibition stands under the Patronage of the German Embassy in Italy and of the Cultural Office of the Embassy of Switzerland. Since Specht is one of more originates German artists of the last generation, operating at Arcegno (Canton Ticino/Switzerland), he exhibits in this occasion for the second time in Italy after the participation to the Biennale Internazionale d'Arte Contemporanea of Florence in December 2003.
A style of painting that is born from the observation and the acknowledgment and transforms in an abstractionism that succeeds - “creates flowing transitions which afford the theme secondary importance only and at the same time creates an awareness that the color blue, for instance, may well be looked upon as a theme.” (Dr. Martin Kraft). For his segment-art he uses pure acrylic colors for strong visual impact, tones in pastel and cromatic in contrast and realizes a structure of material as in the divisionism of a strong type that succeeds to attract the eye of the spectator of the image. A modular painting technique influenced by the industrial procedures as demonstrate his installations and his always new modules of standard formats in continuous mutation.
Bergische Morgenpost (local section of the Rheinischen Post)
of 31st November 2003, by Joachim Rüttgen
The management of the Interroll bought an impressive work of art from the company founder Dieter Specht. Who enters the hall as customer, supplier or an employee, immediately feel the spell pulled of this color glad collage, which unites the entire product range of the enterprise in a picture. Modern and abstract, these are the art trends of Specht, who is called in Tessin “Picchio” (the Italian word for Specht)… The 2 by 2 ½ meters large work of art, which decorates the reception of Interroll, shows clearly that the artist discovered his own style. Specht divides the surfaces into segments, opens the picture up for the viewer. Boredom has there no chance, the eye remains in motion… An impressive eye catcher!
General Anzeiger Wermelskirchen
31st November 2003, by Andreas Weber
… Specht, who is the president of the supervisory board of the Interroll Holding (seat: Sant'Antonio; Switzerland) since 2000, dedicates himself above all however with increasing enthusiasm to his youth dream, the painting. “It is more than only a beautiful hobby, I operate it today as my second career”, says Specht full of energy at his residence, in the Swiss Tessin above the Lago Maggiore, nearby Ascona, where the manager has built a modern studio.
His commitment remains worldwide. Exhibitions in Zurich, Geneva, Innsbruck and New York, Padua, Florence and Rome are witness of it. With “Picchio” (Italian for Specht) he added himself an artist name. One, which stands for unusual art objects. In a first series Specht created flowers, calligraphy followed and abstract pictures.
A collage hangs now as commission work in the mother house in Wermelskirchen. Dieter Specht explained the proceeding: First he divided the canvas into segments, painted then with putty and strong expression, with fast drying acrylic colors, inserted to a collage parts of leaflets and on top of it glues the real products, which made Interroll, what it is today: a worldwide leading producer of components and subsystems of material handling, conveying, engineering and automation.
Dieter Specht connects art and industrial design, inserts thereby company history and is sure at the end: “The work represents a piece of Corporate Culture.” – to which Specht attaches great importance. Nevertheless he reconciles his experiences in this case as a corporate manager with the artistic activity …
28th June 2003, S 15
The topics are various. They reach from abstract compositions over flower presentations up to scenes from the industrial material treatment; always transferred into vertical segments, those style elements, with which Picchio creates the esthetic order which is typical for him. Beside the paintings, Picchio issues "Art-in-Space" named picture objects mentioned for the first time. The picture sculptures consist of body-high, painted elements. The three-dimensional art opens a multiplicity of possible aspects to the viewer.
Neue Zuger Zeitung
7th May 2003, S 51
by Maria Vogel, (art-historian)
The atmosphere of the exhibition is spring-summerful. Large red, blue, yellow and white flowers radiate out into the room
A further peculiarity of these pictures is the division into vertical stripes. Sometimes the boundary lines of these segments pull through the flowers, sometimes the flowers superpose them. Picchio claims however to have no examples or to follow no “-isms”, but without art knowledge and preferences he could not paint in such a way like he does. But he creates itself however his own style shaped by its personality, he places on a small surface many colors and changes the surface here and there also with ornamental working or parallel weaves or diagonal shadings.
With the segments, Picchio seems to have found his style. He pulls this segment style through so powerful that despite the strength the impression of the static and experience is not quite missing.
Ticino Management, monthly Swiss Finance, Economic and Culture Magazine, Anno XIV n. 4, Aprile 2002 S.182 + 183
"...Make Art with Money. – With the introduction of the Euro, German Marks, Liras, French Francs etc. were taken out of circulation; but they continue to live in the great Collages and Acrylic paintings of Picchio, the multitalented artist, who lives and works in our Canton…
Födermittel Journal, 2002, Logistik und Materialfluss,
34. Jahrgeng März 2002 S 14+15
"...Specht’s Atelier, made by his own designs in the center of the village Arcegno, is developing a small but fine workplace for Ideas for Corporate Culture. Managers of the material handling industry, services and other branches take advice of his creativity… His paintings are visual impression of a living corporate culture…
f+h Fördern und Heben, Zeitschrift für Materialfluss und Automation
Ausgabe 1-2 2002 S.12
"...For Specht (Picchio) develops a second career, which divides with the first one not only the creativity and dynamic but also combines the fun and success..."
Lagertechnik 2002 25.Jahrgang Dezember 2001 S. 4
"...Dieter Specht was always just both: artist and entrepreneur – and these side by side... Dieter Specht will take his second roll as personality in the conveyor industry also in the future..."
Ticino Magazine, Rivista Mensile del tempo libero,
November 2001, S.11
"...other works show simple words and objects, composed in different collages and compositions. With these daily things Picchio creates the “intensity of beauty” as Claus Steinrötter points out the paintings of the artist in the catalogue of the exposition…
31st October 2001, S. 13
"...An intensive, but humorous and composed universe of colors and light opens for the beholder. The geometric form and the division into striped segments constitute the basic stylistic inventory. The segments break the naturalistic gaze and open the viewer’s eyes to the artist’s experience underlying the image.