Mimmo Paladino

Centro Pecci, Prato

Two things were most striking in this extensive retrospective bringing together nearly thirty years of Mimmo Paladino’s work. The first was the prevalence in his work of the epic mode over anything subjective or individualist—his affinity with the primordial, archaic, totemic phases of civilization. These distant origins, however, appear continuously in the present, and Paladino points toward them by means of fragmentary, enigmatic presences. The second observation had more to do with Paladino’s technical means as an artist who often combines painting with relief elements: While all the projecting components (masks, small papier-mâché or terra-cotta craters, sticks, various found objects such as umbrellas or bicycles), relate centrifugally to the canvas, they are all subsumed within the formal domain of the surface. Despite magmatic, “barbarian,” at times disturbing contents, the end

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