New York

Porfirio Di Donna


The paintings of Porfirio Di Donna were also exhibited at James Yu. Di Donna’s medium and small square paintings are pale in color and completely covered with dots evenly spaced along parallel lines. Both the lines and the dots occur at approximately one-inch intervals. The dots are almost too small to be seen; their accumulation, their changes in color, and the lines they are on, account for what is seen in each painting. The dots covering one vertical half of a pale pink canvas are dark red, blue, and green, while on the other half they are orange. From a distance this reads as two kinds of textures: the darker dots remain distinct as dots, although indistinct as color, while the orange dots seem to spread and disappear into the surface, giving it a faint suggestion of color. In the other paintings, the colors are arranged differently; usually the darker dots are interspersed with smaller areas of warmer-, lighter-colored dots. But the main occurrence is this accumulation of texture and the tendency of the lighter dots to disappear, leaving blanks in the fields of darker dots. In its negation of apparent color in favor of texture and light Di Donna’s work suggests the dot paintings of Robert Irwin and the white grid paintings of Agnes Martin.

––Roberta Pancoast Smith