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View of “Gabriele Di Matteo,” 2011.

Gabriele Di Matteo

Federico Luger (FL GALLERY)

View of “Gabriele Di Matteo,” 2011.

In the inventory of the Prado in Madrid, Velázquez’s Las Meninas used to be called, rather, a “family portrait,” and this is how Gabriele Di Matteo titled his exhibition: “Quadro di Famiglia.” Five large replicas of the celebrated painting were exhibited on the walls, each the same size as the original but fragmented into sixteen square modules that, together, make up the famous scene—the presentation of the Infanta Margarita during a sitting for a portrait. More precisely, four paintings repeated this scene, while the fifth showed the modules in scattered order, a sort of re-creation in puzzle form. Additional modules, bringing the number of “family portraits” to a total of twenty, were stacked against the wall and in the gallery office. The idea of fragmenting the image came from the way in which large-scale paintings were often treated in the past, when they were cut into

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