Art In America

Giorgio de Chirico and Giulio Paolini

at The Center for Italian Modern Art,
421 Broome Street

For a postmodern twist on Giorgio de Chirico, visit the jewel-box Center for Italian Modern Art, an elegantly appointed nonprofit space in SoHo. De Chirico is paired with conceptual artist Giulio Paolini in a small but smart display addressing shared themes such as self-portraiture and classical Greek sculpture. De Chirico, who died in 1978, is represented by some choice canvases from his early Metaphysical phase, including the original 1918 version of the seminal The Disquieting Muses, as well as later, lesser-known work. A cluster of homoerotic paintings of gladiators from the 1920s reveal how his explorations with figuration developed after he fell out of favor with critics. 

Paolini, who emerged in the 1960s, came to consider de Chirico a muse of sorts for his own work. He borrowed direct imagery and strategies from the older artist. The show includes a range of sculpture and photo-based work by Paolini from the 1960s to ’80s. He has also produced a series of paper collages over the last decade that explore his intense connection to de Chirico. These works hang in the kitchen, where tours (available by appointment only) begin with a complimentary espresso. —Lindsay Pollock


Pictured: Giulio Paolini: Autoritratto nudo (Nude Self-Portrait), 2014–15, pencil, white pencil and collage on black paper, 27½ by 27½ inches. © Giulio Paolini. Courtesy Fondazione Giulio e Anna Paolini.

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