The Venerable Abject

May 17 – June 23, 2012

Ana Cristea Gallery

521 West 26th Street
New York, NY, 10001


Ana Cristea Gallery is pleased to present “The Venerable Abject,” the first solo exhibition in the UnitedStates by artist Nicola Samorì.
Nicola Samorì makes seductive, profound paintings by layering and fusing images on canvas, woodor copper and then obliterating them by scratching, erasing, fingering and painting over the surfacesmultiple times. By violating the golden rule of all museums (“Please do not touch the artwork.”) Samorìis making art history by corrupting his own work and imposing a new Samorì on top. The resulting layersof paint create a new skin that bears the bruises and permanent marks of all prior creative efforts.
Selecting portraits and still lifes from classical paintings but also sourcing random faces and imagesfrom the Web, Samorì is engaged in a project about time and corrosion. Mythological and religiousfigures dominate Samorì canvasses. In “L Abietto Venerabile” the two hands held up with open palmssignal readable gestures (surrender, grace, or blessing) but the spliced visage is streaked with horror.In “Tantalo” based on the Greek myth of Tantalus’s eternal punishment, several portraits sit on top ofone another, making it impossible to determine which figure the artist is honoring. The viewer mayinterpret the mythic or religious connotations of the many visible arms and wardrobe changes of thissaintly figure—but time has contributed to his (or her) erasure. Samorì has assumed the role of creatorand destroyer thereby giving him license to speed up or freeze time and to reincarnate from one life tothe next in between lunch. (Samorì lives and paints in a Renaissance church in Bagnacavallo, Italy.) Byassuming this artist privilege to make and to erase (to give and to take), Samorì is offering us his deeplypersonal views about life and death. Each work beats a pulse; giant blots and thumbprints of colorrace across the surfaces only to be stalled by a pileup of oil paint. In that moment of halt, the viewer isinvited to look into the keyhole of the experiences already lived.
For additional information, please contact Ana Cristea Gallery by phone at (212) 904-1100 or by e-mailat info@anacristeagallery.com. The gallery is located at 521 West 26th Street between 10th and 11thAvenues and is open from Tuesday through Saturday from 11am to 6pm.