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03 Feb 2018

Vincent Desiderio: Theseus

Marlborough Gallery

Reviewed by Harry Newman

One of the finest American realist painters, Vincent Desiderio's work often has an aspect of the mysterious to it, whether in subject or scale or approach. This has been brought to the fore in "Theseus," a solo show at Marlborough Gallery, consisting of a dozen large-scale, recent oils. Together, the paintings suggest a private mythology with images of 19th century burials, black and white movies playing to empty theaters, and distortions of religious iconography.

Desiderio's remarkable skills are in evidence as always, but there's a newer looseness and wry humor, as in Pontormo in Hell (2016), anamorphic renderings of figures from that artist's work combined with contemporary images, including a Guy Fawkes mask. At the center is Theseus (2016), a fourteen-foot tangle of nude bodies with human-size grasshoppers and other animals among them, that he's then painted twice more at successive levels of abstraction until pure forms of mass and movement remain.

Exhibition Vincent Desiderio: Theseus link
Start date 09 Jan 2018
End date 03 Feb 2018
Presenter Marlborough Gallery link
Venue 40 West 57th Street, New York City, NY, USA map
Image Vincent Desiderio, Pontormo in Hell, 2016, oil on canvas, 73 x 142 inches, courtesy of Marlborough Gallery

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