Omar Galliani’s recent paintings and drawings shift the focus of the work some critics have called “neomannerist painting” to the edges of the Italian Renaissance. So-called neomannerist work displays an academically rigorous drawing style and a traditional painting technique; its inspiration derives from the historical period of Mannerism. It is not a markedly different phenomenon from neo-expressionism, nor does it show a different attitude toward problems of figuration. It simply refers to a different tradition. The result is a flood of allegories in chiaroscuro, falsely dramatic and falsely allusive, recalling Surrealism at its most trite and tired. The work seems justified only when its excessiveness suggests a parodic intention, or when it is so close to the appearance of its model as to raise the questions of photographic reproduction.
A problem arises when this art genre is taken
Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.