New York

Italo Scanga

112 Greene Street

On two facing walls of the gallery, Italo Scanga hangs handsomely framed reproductions of kitschy religious paintings spattered with red paint. Before these, he places glass urns containing spices or grains, and occasionally leans farming implements, a rake or a hoe, against the wall. At the rear of the gallery, he hangs large bunches of dried herbs. Scanga constructs a kind of ritual space which resembles a series of ambulatory chapels in a cathedral, each with its own devotional image. One has to kneel to examine the paintings closely, since they are hung so low to the ground, and from there it is a natural step to smell or taste the foodstuffs in the urns.

The reproductions Scanga appropriates are the kind of sweet versions of gruesome imagery—bleeding martyrs and sacred hearts—found in poorer Italian homes. The spots and streaks of thin red paint have been applied helter-skelter, almost

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