Giorgio Griffa, Festone, 1984, Acrylic on Canvas
Roberta Smith on Giorgio Griffa in the New York Times
The floods of Hurricane Sandy interrupted an exhibition at Casey Kaplan’s gallery that was close to his heart: the Italian painter Giorgio Griffa’s first New York gallery show since his debut in 1970. Like most of Chelsea, it’s now up and running. It could hardly be timelier in bringing to light the work of an artist who reduces painting to its basics.
Like many younger artists, Mr. Griffa seems to test how little it takes for something to qualify as a painting. For decades he has used raw unstretched canvas of different textures and tones in a way that emphasizes portability. The paintings are simply folded up when not on view, which invariably makes the grid of fold lines part of the motif. To these surfaces he applies unruled lines and strokes that sometimes accumulate into shapes but often simply repeat for a while and then stop — as if in midsentence…