Steven Parrino

September 25 - November 3, 2007

Steven Parrino -
STEVEN PARRINO
Universal Mafia, 1992
Enamel on canvas
72 x 103 inches (182.9 x 261.6 cm)


Download Press Release PDF (21 Kb)

Opening reception: Tuesday, September 25th, from 6 to 8 pm


Gagosian Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of works by Steven Parrino. The show will feature paintings, drawings and sculptures as a selective view across the career of an artist who lived and worked in New York up until his untimely death in a motorcycle accident in 2005.

When I started making paintings, the word on painting was "PAINTING IS DEAD." I saw this as an interesting place for painting… death can be refreshing, so I started engaging in necrophilia….. Approaching history in the same way that Dr. Frankenstein approaches body parts… Nature Morte… my contemporaries were NO WAVERS… BLACK FLAG-ERS… and this death painting thing led to a sex and death painting thing… that became an existence thing… that became a "Cease to Exist" thing… A kind of post-punk existentialism. I am still concerned with "art about art", but I am also aware that "art about art" still reflects the time in which it was made. Content is not denied… Content is not obvious… Content is sustained in the air or the vibe of the work.

-Steven Parrino, 2003

A keen awareness of painting; its history, meaning, spatial possibilities and limitations (i.e., the trajectory of Minimalism), led Parrino to an elegant resolution – the disruption of the canvas itself. This simple step allowed into the work a tremendous physicality and a unique dimension of existence, time, and submerged content. Like landscape details from a sinister graphic novel, Parrino's content is made explicit in his drawings. Here are demons, iconoclasts and anti-culture, punk rock and Lon Chaney, interspersed with mute slabs of abstraction – an American death-trip seen as a positive. The drawings are a bridge between Parrino's formal anarchies and the rejects, deviants and superheroes that were his inspiration.

Steven Parrino was born in New York in 1958. Parrino's work was recently included in the Whitney Biennial 2006: Day for Night, Whitney Museum of American Art (2006) and in The Painted World, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, (2005). Recent solo exhibitions of his work include the Musée d'Art Moderne et Contemporain in Geneva (2006) and the Palais de Tokyo in Paris (2007).

A fully illustrated catalogue with an essay by Vincent Pécoil will accompany the exhibition.

For further information, please contact the gallery.