Critics’ Picks

View of “Pádraig Timoney,” 2014.

View of “Pádraig Timoney,” 2014.

Naples

Pádraig Timoney

Museo MADRE
Palazzo Donnaregina, via Settembrini, 79
February 7–May 12, 2014

Curated by Alessandro Rabottini, this careful selection of Pádraig Timoney’s paintings, sculptures, installations, and photographs marks his debut solo exhibition at a public institution and is particularly noteworthy for its clear and concise presentation. The erudite installation also reveals key themes of Timoney’s output, which he largely developed in Naples, where he lived from 2004 to 2011, before moving to New York. Dense with cultural references to avant-garde and neo-avant-garde movements, the exhibition manifests the artist’s interests in language and materials in a selection of more than fifty works made over the past twenty years.

The show opens with a reconstruction of Timoney’s 1994 solo show at Raucci/Santamaria Gallery in Naples, with works that vary in style, medium, and subject—from still lifes to landscapes, and from figurative to abstract scenes. These pieces occupy a room where the walls have been painted silver using fire extinguishers that are, in turn, on display as readymades. Subsequent rooms consider themes such as the idea of doubling (as in Warning, 1994, two photographic versions of the same image of an actress); color studies (see Bombed coral, 2010, a chromatic kaleidoscope created using rabbit skin glue, pigment, ink, and oil paint on canvas); and reflections on spirituality (as in Capass, 2010, an depiction of a Neapolitan interior in India ink that celebrates the sacred nature of daily life). These examples, along with many others, confirm the pronounced versatility of Timoney’s sui generis art. Though his work is deeply eclectic it is always consistent in substance, continuously reflecting on the expressive potential of painting.

Translated from Italian by Marguerite Shore.