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

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