Carlo Maria Mariani

Studio d'Arte Cannaviello

For this exhibition, entitled “Paradiso Riconquistato” (Paradise regained), Carlo Maria Mariani showed both works on paper and a thematic group of paintings, each in the same size and format. These paintings are in the well-crafted neoclassical style now synonymous with Mariani’s nostalgic production; they are works that emanate a notion of idealized perfection and combine historical quotation with a facade of greatness. By making historical quotations the subject of his art, Mariani refers to the immortality of art and its creators. Like his previous works, the paintings in this show (all from 1987–88) center on the almost-nude or toga-clad figure of a muscular male youth. Because Mariani so consciously contains these figures within the picture plane—so much so that they seem flat and one-dimensional—they appear often contorted or contrived.

In Aprile, 1988, a seated, laurel-crowned boy

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