Critics’ Picks

View of “Alfredo Aceto: HARAM,” 2014.

View of “Alfredo Aceto: HARAM,” 2014.


Alfredo Aceto

Frutta | Rome
Via dei Salumi, 53
June 24–July 26, 2014

The intervention Alfredo Aceto conceived for this exhibition is as simple as it is effective. In Frutta Gallery’s project room, he presents five works from his series “Mask Paintings,” 2014. These pieces were inspired by a practice followed by car companies before new vehicles go on the market. In order to downplay similarities, prototypes are disguised with adhesive panels decorated with optical motifs on a black background. With this in mind, Aceto has designed stamps of various circular abstract patterns and applied them with black ink on monochrome canvas or plasterboard surfaces.

The works appear as paintings in terms of their format (each takes a rectangular shape of the same size); the way they are displayed (all are hung on the wall); and compositional layout; in fact, at first glance they merely a show of abstractions. However, when one takes into account the conceptual process that precedes their execution, these pieces seem like anything but paintings, since their methodology is derived from an industrial process whereby the image is hidden, which thus is a negation of the pictorial act. Instead, they are extensions of Aceto’s intellectual approach to the creative process, in particular to the concept of the uniqueness and multiplication of the work of art, wherein he resorts to a structured expressive system that encompasses various mediums. The peculiar aspects of his research include a virtual dialogue he has cultivated with other artists—Alighiero Boetti, Sophie Calle, and Paola Pivi, for example—establishing an almost symbiotic bond with their poetics, expanding his own iconographic and iconological repertoire, which is already as vast as it is unusual for an artist of his generation.

Translated from Italian by Marguerite Shore.