At Scaramouche, Antonio Scaccabarozzi Tries On Rigorous Beauty

THE DAILY PIC: The Italian conceptualist couldn't help pleasing our eyes.


MY DAILY PIC (#1406): This picture from 1980 looks like an attractive abstraction, but it isn’t quite that. It is less about what it looks like than about the process that led to its look – in this case, the injection into the wet canvas of carefully calibrated quantities of pigment. The piece is by the late Antonio Scaccabarozzi, a noted Milanese artist whose work is getting its first American outing at Scaramouche gallery on the Lower East Side of New York. The survey is amazingly varied, showing the artist working through all kinds of options for how art might be made, in parallel to (maybe sometimes in conversation with) some strands in American conceptualism. In all of those options, however, you see him dealing with an ancient Italian tradition that says that beauty must come before all. He fights that tradition, while also yielding to it. (He could have chosen to make his dots an ugly brown.)

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