“Theater,” 2017, oil on canvas, 67 x 84 inches

“Theseus” is a new exhibition at Marlborough Gallery, featuring 10 works that range in size from 5 feet, 9 inches to nearly 14 feet long. “Vincent Desiderio’s painterly practice often plays cognitive readings against optical clues,” the gallery says. “Even within the disjointed and intensely confusing ‘narratives’ of the paintings, a kind of profound emotional impact on the viewer is quickly achieved. He has described his approach as ‘trying to create a sense of what it feels like to be at the threshold of dream images coalescing into sequentiality with no loss of their dreaminess, as it were.’”


“Bathers,” 2017, oil on canvas, 57 x 69 inches

Theseus
Through February 3, 2018
Marlborough Gallery, New York, New York
http://www.marlboroughgallery.com/

The directors of Marlborough Gallery are pleased to announce an exhibition of new paintings by the American artist Vincent Desiderio. This will be Desiderio’s ninth show with Marlborough Gallery.

“Theseus” features 10 works that range in size from 5 feet, 9 inches to nearly 14 feet long. “Vincent Desiderio’s painterly practice often plays cognitive readings against optical clues,” the gallery says. “Even within the disjointed and intensely confusing ‘narratives’ of the paintings, a kind of profound emotional impact on the viewer is quickly achieved. He has described his approach as ‘trying to create a sense of what it feels like to be at the threshold of dream images coalescing into sequentiality with no loss of their dreaminess, as it were.’

“Hitchcock’s Hands,” 2012, oil and mixed media on canvas, 64 x 66 inches

“A central painting in the show is a large horizontal canvas entitled ‘Theseus.’ It contains some 40 figures portrayed in a state of falling or slipping and, with its turbulence and disorienting impact, the effect is akin to a Northern European Last Judgement painting like the creations of 15th-century master Hans Memling. ‘Theseus’ is directly related to the images of sleep for which the Desiderio is well known. The mythological morphology of ‘Theseus’ is further explored by the artist in two agnate works that hang nearby; ‘Theseus II’ and ‘Theseus III’ are nearly abstracted, X-ray-like versions of the composition.

“‘Wringing,’ another horizontal masterwork in the exhibition, is a deceptively straightforward depiction of a pair of hands twisting a swath of fabric. Its cryptic essence can’t help but captivate. The painting is at once melancholy in its finality and hopeful in its flavor of relief. It is simultaneously an ending and a beginning. Like the other paintings in the exhibition — depictions of no-longer-elegant movie theaters, the exterior of the Duomo in Florence, Italy, or nude bathers perched precariously on the edge of a mountain — the painting exists in an in-between space where time and place are constantly shifting and logic is something mutable and perhaps irrelevant.”


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