Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Painter

Joseph Marioni, or self-referentially, “The Painter,” is known for his works that consist of multiple layers of acrylic paint. I like how they offer the possibility of disparate experiences. From a distance, they appear to be solid, monochromatic blocks of color, sometimes with slight shifts or gradations. Moving in closer, cracks and runs due to gravity are apparent, and, more strikingly, coats of colors that differ completely from the collective result become visible. Aside from technicalities, I’m interested in the questions Marioni’s work raises. What do these pieces want, or what kind of responses do they (or should they) provoke? Are they grasping at some unadulterated or fundamental form of what it means for a painting to be a painting? How do we judge a work that has, in its elemental respect, a subject founded on pure incorporeality, simply providing an interaction between colors and light for our eyes?

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