"Luciano Ventrone: The Thrill of the Real" to Open at Hollis Taggart Galleries

  • NEW YORK, New York
  • /
  • August 21, 2014

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Luciano Ventrone, Rotazione, 2013. Oil on linen. 23 5/8 x 27 5/8 inches
Hollis Taggart Galleries

In his upcoming showing at Hollis Taggart Galleries, Luciano Ventrone presents a paradoxical thrill in his paintings.  Luciano Ventrone: The Thrill of the Real (Sept. 4-Oct, 4, 2014) examines the foundation of Ventrone’s skilled technique and his deceptively classic still lifes.  Comprised of twenty paintings, one of the most striking themes is the artist’s uncanny precision.

Working directly from photographs, Ventrone allows himself access to details that may not be seen from the human eye alone.  The artist proves his achievement of paint handling—most notably in Faló (2009) and Arabesco (2009–10).  The torn, jagged watermelon flesh in Faló elicits questioning from the viewer.  What events lead to the explosion of pink fruit.    Whereas the quiet, translucent rose petals in Arabesco capture a moment of time that would otherwise be fleeting, fragile, or dying.  There is a sense of theatricality in both works.  He creates striking, small worlds within worlds, charged with emotion.

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Ventrone’s choice of subjects ties him to the traditional still life painters of the past.  However, it is his focus on the application of paint, his treatment of color and light, and his dramatic compositions that place him among the modernists.  Mutamenti (2013–14) eschews formal technique by doing away with a focal point, and instead presents ocean waves in motion, spilling over the edge of the canvas.  In Manuela (2013) the notion of the muse is challenged.  She is turned away gazing into the emptiness, possibly aware but disconnected from the viewer.

Luciano Ventrone, Manuela, 2013. Oil on linen/ 19 1/16 x 59 inches
Hollis Taggart Galleries

“Almost as a bet” from his friend Federico Zeri, Ventrone turned to still lifes as a subject in the mid-1970s.  Nearly thirty decades later, these new paintings show an authoritative, mature hand—an assertive style demonstrating his skilled brushwork.  This much anticipated recent body of work will not disappoint.

The exhibition is accompanied by a fully-illustrated catalogue featuring an essay by Eric Bryant, a New York and Los Angeles-based critic and journalist.  He has written about contemporary art and artists for more than 20 years, contributing to Art & Auction and ARTnews.  The exhibition will be available to view at the gallery website at: www.HollisTaggart.com.


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