Critics’ Picks

Giorgio de Chirico, I gladiatori (Combattimento), 1930–31.

Giorgio de Chirico, I gladiatori (Combattimento), 1930–31.

New York

“A Triple Alliance: de Chirico, Picabia, Warhol”

Sperone Westwater
257 Bowery
January 9–February 21, 2004

“A Triple Alliance” offers the chance to consider three protean artists of Dada, Surrealism, and Pop outside the context of the movements they pioneered. Picabia’s late paintings are here, along with Warhol prints and graphite drawings from his 1982 “After de Chirico” series. De Chirico is represented by the gladiators and bathers that preoccupied him from the '20s through the '50s, as well as a few early metaphysical landscapes. The installation emphasizes the correspondences among these artists who both defined and questioned modernism. Works like de Chirico’s I gladiatori (Combattimento), 1930–31, Picabia’s Minos, 1929, and Warhol’s Eighteen Multi-Colored Marilyns (Reversal Series), 1979–86, propose ways in which high-modernist painting's disowned stepchildren—narrative, popular culture—might survive and thrive. Documentary photographs by Irving Penn, Philippe Halsman, and others are also on view, but on the whole this show is less about tracing a trajectory than outlining the parameters of a fascinating cross-historical game.