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  • Provenance

    Team Gallery, New York

  • Exhibited

    New York, Team Gallery, Steven Parrino, April 19 - May 26, 2001; New York, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, The Painted World, October 23, 2005 - January 30, 2006; New York, David Zwirner Gallerey, A Point in Space is a Plalce For an Argument, June 28 - August 10, 2007

  • Literature

    E. Fabianich, “Steven Parrino Rocks On,” NY Arts, June 2001, p. 70 (illustrated); J. Fyfe, “Steven Parrino at Team,” Art in America, September 2001, p. 150 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    Steven Parrino has made a career out of demolishing aspects of easel painting. Much of his practice of contorting canvas for this purpose intersects with the tradition of Baroque sculpture in which sculpturally rendered cloth is pulled away from its task of defining the figure and utilized independently for expressive purposes. In most of Parrino's work, contortion is accomplished by using excess canvas. He first paints a black monochrome square at the center of a large piece of raw canvas that has been conventionally stapled to a stretcher. Then the painted canvas is pulled forward from the “figure” of the stretcher and crumpled. Some of the raw canvas that normally would be pinned behind the painting gathers onto the front. This is remarkably similar to what happens in Bernini’s Ecstasy of Saint Teresa, where excess drapery seems to extrude from the relatively frontal sculptural composition to create an aggressive new foreground. The crumpling continues in Parrino’s new work, but in an exuberant departure from his earlier format, the recent paintings, each 7 feet in diameter, are round. They thus align themselves more directly with the Baroque in their avoidance of the perpendicular and their grand investment in a somewhat sardonic decorative impulse.
    In each of the paintings on view here – Skeletal Implosion #1, #2 and #3 – Parrino substitutes his usual monochrome field with black (gloss enamel) and white (flat gesso) stripes. The taping technique he uses allows a slight bleed of shiny paint onto the flat gesso. In Skeletal Implosion #1 and #2, trails of Pollock-like black enamel dribbles are visible on the raw canvas that has been pulled on the frontal perimeter of the rondo. This mannered gesture contrasts, historically and stylistically, with the striped centers that are twisted into large folds. These crumpled centers resemble three-dimensional models of Bridget Riley's illusionistic stripe paintings but also borrow from Daniel Buren's slight disaffection and strong, steady light. As a group, these striped paintings resemble collapsed tents from a riotous party. We seem to be witnessing, in the form of a reeling carnival, a rebellion against the authority of painting. The titles also imply a kind of Day of the Dead on which the swirling bones of painting burst from the ground.
    (J. Fyfe, “Steven Parrino at Team,” Art in America 89, no. 9, September 2001, p.150)


Skeletal Implosion #3


Enamel paint and gesso on canvas.

Diameter: 84 1/4 in. (214 cm).

Signed and dated “Steven Parrino 2001” on wooden support.

$1,000,000 - 1,200,000 

Sold for $657,000

Contemporary Art Part I

15 May 2008, 7pm
New York