New York – Claudio Parmiggiani at Bortolami Gallery Through October 29th, 2022

October 20th, 2022

Claudio Parmiggiani, Untitled (2022), via Bortolami
Claudio Parmiggiani, Untitled (2022), via Bortolami

On view this month at Bortolami Gallery in New York, artist Claudio Parmiggiani has installed a body of new work that continues his enigmatic and materially-oriented approach through a range of new canvases. Utilizing simple operations of fire and ash posed against a stark white canvas, Parmiggiani’s work in the show makes the most of the most simple of operations to create lyrically rich subject matter.

Claudio Parmiggiani, Untitled (2022), via Bortolami
Claudio Parmiggiani, Untitled (2022), via Bortolami

Parmiggiani occupies a singular and fundamental position in post-war Italian art history. For the past five decades, in line with the tenets of Arte Povera, he has produced artwork with an almost absolute scarcity of materials. His ongoing and celebrated series, Delocazione, begun in the 1970s, is composed of panels created solely with fire and the traces it produces. Parmiggiani organizes objects on the face of two-dimensional surfaces, subjecting them to a controlled blaze. Once the fire is extinguished, a gray soot settles and outlines the artist’s tableaus, fixing what was once present by their hollowed absence. For his latest exhibition, Parmiggiani has produced a new suite of artworks using this process.

Claudio Parmiggiani, Untitled (1991), via Bortolami
Claudio Parmiggiani, Untitled (1991), via Bortolami

The process is simple, yet renders a fascinating aftereffect. Each identically sized panel is composed of a shelf housing differing bottles, the vessels’ silhouettes crystallized against flittering backdrops of grays. The subject matter conjures the long shadow cast by the still life tradition, a genre wherein the inanimate is entrusted as a cypher for humanist thought. These are works about memory and material in equal measure, pieces combining a minimalist execution with a delicate and ghostly final form that emphasizes both presence and absence simultaneously, and where time grows increasingly valuable, perhaps even scarce, as it passes.

The show closes October 29th.

Claudio Parmiggiani, Untitled (2022), via Bortolami
Claudio Parmiggiani, Untitled (2022), via Bortolami

– C. Reinhardt

Read more:
Claudio Parmiggiani [Exhibition Site]