José Parlá’s personal grand tour of Italy extended north to south through seven citiesMilan, Bologna, Rome, Naples, Matera, Bari, and Leccewhose urban plans reveal profound differences in land, politics, and culture. The route was echoed in the artist’s ten new canvases on view here. Fragments of walls, which Parlá found and picked up along his travels, and other materials were superimposed in complex and harmonious abstract compositions.
In these works, the artist has a dual viewpoint. From a distance, the viewer could grasp the totality of the painting and the formal play among its constituent elements. Close up, however, the canvas once again became a wall of overlapping accumulation, each work evoking the path of discovery that led to the various materials with which its surface is dense. Proceeding almost to the point of touching the canvas, the viewer could perceive
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