London

Sandro Chia

Anthony d'Offay Gallery

In Sandro Chia’s Fratello, one of 42 drawings and paintings in this show, a muscular man stands with arms akimbo, steam shooting from his cranium, and the bulging material of his apron proclaiming a massive erection. In Speed Boy a hefty youngster, with muscles in places where most boys don’t even have places, wears roller skates and seems powered by the violence of his own farting. The mysterious protagonist in Confidential Declaration fires a cannon at nothing, for no apparent reason. Chia’s preoccupation with presenting energy hints at his conception of painting. An explosion exists at a threshold of visibility; while the impulse itself is impossible to discern, its passage is marked by vapor or smoke. In drawing, the force itself may be suggested by haphazard graphic billows or lines of force, which appear in Chia’s work as decorative marks resulting from a painterly horror vacui and

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