Tears Fall

May 7th, 2014

Jackie Saccoccio’s fourth solo show with Eleven Rivington features large-scale paintings on view at both gallery locations. Driven by gravity and drips, Saccoccio’s paintings relate to her recent shows in New York City and abroad, through which she has pursued the possibility of painting portraiture without image.

Jackie Saccoccio, left to right: "Profile (GT Concave)" and "Profile 3 (Roy II Concave)", 2014

At 195 Chrystie Street, six towering paintings reach from floor to ceiling. If they are portraits, then they seem like full-body portraits. We learn that they can be grouped into pairs.

Jackie Saccoccio, left to right: "Profile (GT Convex)" and "Profile 3 (Roy II Convex)", 2014

“Profile-type pictures,” these pairs include Profile (Roy II, Concave) and Profile 3 (Roy II, Convex), Profile (GT Concave) and Profile (GT Convex), and Profile (Echo) and Profile (Narcissus). Respectively, they refer to features of Chuck Close’s Roy II (1994), Domenico Ghirlandaio’s Portrait of Giovanna Tornabuoni (1488), and two characters from Ovid’s Metamorphoses.

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Above all, these feel like portraits of painting itself, rather than paintings of people or paintings of paintings of people. Though painting has many faces, it often does pose itself in these viscous, gestural, and labored manners.  And if it’s true that “You should be able to look at any good painting from several sides,” as Ed Ruscha is said to have said, then these paintings’ rotations above gravity (the drips drip to all compass points) seem to defy head-on-shoulders portraiture, unless tears drip up.

P.S. If you are interested in Italian portraits from the 1480s, be sure to catch Michael Joaquin Grey’s In Between Simonetta animation at Leila Heller Gallery!

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