New York

Igor Mitoraj

Marisa Del Re Gallery

In an age when Modernist values have become art-historical clichés, or at least seem less convincing and consequential than they once did, Igor Mitoraj’s classically based sculpture raises a number of intriguing issues. Reaching beyond the anti-classical reductivism of Brancusi, which has itself become classical—so much so that artists such as Carl Andre and Richard Serra have rendered its ideal of radical simplicity decadent and hollow—Mitoraj returns to the sublimity of the Laocoön.

As the Laocoön makes clear, beauty does not mean loss of passion or agony, but rather its distillation. Ironically, Mitoraj’s sculpture achieves the same effect through Modernist means: in Adriano, 1993, a little Suprematist square functions as a tear, perforating the cheek of this hermaphroditic figure. Bandaging a face to convey a sense of mystery, hurt, and danger is a technique that artists as different

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. Please sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW and save up to 65% off the newsstand price for full online access to this issue and our archive.

Order the PRINT EDITION of the October 1995 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.