Newport Beach

Mimmo Paladino

Newport Harbor Museum

A small exhibition of five recent works by Mimmo Paladino proved to be one of the highlights of “II Modo Italiano,” the multivenued 11-artist survey of recent Italian art organized by the Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art. Water of the Pond, a large, heavily textured, blond and yellow painting from 1980, reveals something of the reticence and beauty of Paladino’s earlier abstract style; this painting, however, derives from a time when his aspirations to scale had begun to overstress and force the subtle runs of color and areas of low relief that work so well in a more modest format. With Cometa delle Afriche (Comet of the Africas, 1982) he knows no such constraints, and the work is emphatic, self-confident, and intensely physical. Most impressive is Paladino’s ease and authority as an iconographer dealing with large, often hybrid mythic themes. The “comet” rides through the painting

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