Luciano Bartolini

Galerie Montenay

Characterized by bold black, red, white, or yellow monochrome surfaces punctuated with torn paper, spattered paint, gold leaf, and horizontal color bands, the collage paintings in Luciano Bartolini’s “Emblematische Blumen” (Emblematic flowers, 1989–90) series, command the gallery space with their iconic presences.

For the most part, the “emblems” are high on the canvas; if they were lower, the effect would be decorative, but the balancing act between color and gravity in these paintings charges the hovering shapes with visual tension. There are echoes of Byzantine mosaics and gold leafed miniatures, traces of Nepalese prayer banners and Indian deities, and a structural nod at early Renaissance painting in the stately symmetry of the compositions and their implicit vanishing points. All of this is brought together within the matrix of action painting and the abstract spirituality of Bartolini’s

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