Steven Parrino, ‘UNTITLED’, 1999, TWO x TWO

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The post-punk existentialist artist, Steven Parrino, began painting in the 1970s, a time when most of the art world considered painting as dead. Parrino said that he “saw this as an interesting place for painting… death can be refreshing.” Here, the viewer can see how the artist worked through the death of painting by manhandling postwar art pioneers, such as Frank Stella and Jackson Pollock.

The post-punk existentialist artist, Steven Parrino, began painting in the 1970s, a time when most of the art world considered painting as dead. Parrino said that he “saw this as an interesting place for painting… death can be refreshing.” Here, the viewer can see how the artist worked through the death of painting by manhandling postwar art pioneers, such as Frank Stella and Jackson Pollock. Parrino crumpled up the paper, an iconic gesture typical of his paintings, and sprayed it with black enamel. When he flattened the vellum paper, spaces throughout the work remained untouched by the paint, which he then filled in with marker to create pinstripes akin to Stella’s historical Black Paintings. Parrino lived and worked in New York until his untimely death in 2005. His exhibitions include The Painted World, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City; 2006 Whitney Biennial, New York; Steven Parrino, Musée d'Art Moderne et Contemporain, Geneva; and Steven Parrino, Palais de Tokyo, Paris.

gallery website: www.gagosian.com

About Steven Parrino

Steven Parrino's work responds to the dictum "Painting is dead." In the 1980s, he began to attack his canvases, piercing them or detaching them from their stretchers to create rough, folded, or sagging surfaces, what he called "misshaped paintings.” Often rendered in Parrino's fetish colors of black and silver, these works referenced Minimalism and Donald Judd's critique of painting's flatness and rectangular shape. Equally inspired by punk, pop, and low culture, Parrino used photos of iconoclastic figures like Hells Angels and Johnny Cash and imagery, such as swastikas and Rebel flags, in his drawings and works on paper.

American, 1958-2005, New York, New York, based in Switzerland