New York

Gerald Slota, Untitled (Pegboard), 2018, digital C-print, 44 × 37 1⁄2".

Gerald Slota, Untitled (Pegboard), 2018, digital C-print, 44 × 37 1⁄2".

Gerald Slota

Ricco / Maresca Gallery

If one didn’t know that the ten digital C-prints in this exhibition were dedicated to Gerald Slota’s dead father, one would have thought they were merely surreal. The eccentric, collage-like compositions featured timeworn items from his late parent’s home (crusty wallpaper, shabby kitchen tiles, a misshapen pegboard) in sensational colors (electric yellows, lurid greens, lambent blues). The pieces were strangely abstract—the pegboard, for instance, became a Color Field painting, the bit of wire dangling from it an expressive gesture. The images had a certain naive and clumsy charm, a quality we would expect from the art of an autodidact. But Slota is no such thing. Though his pictures have a hesitant sophistication, they demonstrate an acquaintance with reified modernist ideas of artmaking. The works are built step-by-step—indeed, they are a via dolorosa of mourning—and bring with them

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