Casey Kaplan

Artist News

Giorgio Griffa, Macchie (Stains), 1969, acrylic and pastel on canvas.

Critics’ Pick: Chris Sharp on Giorgio Griffa

“Fragments 1968–2012” traverses the past four decades of the Turin-based Italian artist Giorgio Griffa’s winsomely delicate production as a painter. And while changes in terms of content can be descried throughout the fifteen paintings on view, fundamental constants remain. To wit: a commitment to mark making on unprimed and unstretched canvases, whose sheetlike folds are as much a part of their composition as the texture of their weave are a part of their fabric. Deploying a bright and airy Matissean palette, Griffa’s marks, which vary from vertical and horizontal stripes to zigzags to numbers, are manually applied in a systematic mode from left to right, and there is often a signature caesura in the middle of the canvas, as if the artist were stopping a thought midsentence: Even Macchie (Stains), 1969, a personal favorite, which consists of a tumbling constellation of acrylic daubs overlaid with scribbled pastel, was executed from top left to right…