Art In America

Rudolf Stingel

at Gagosian,
522 W 21st St.

Monumental and elegiac, Rudolf Stingel's recent series of paintings, "Mountains," feature renderings of vintage black-and-white photographs of the Italian Alps near Merano, the artist's hometown. Up to 15 feet wide, the five formidable, untitled canvases convey the sense of awe experienced in the presence of nature's majesty, echoing paintings from the 19th-century German Romantic movement. After the initial image had been painted, Stingel placed the canvases on his studio floor for some days or weeks, resulting in footprints, scuff marks, paint splatters and the like. Surprisingly, the best and most moving works are those in which the Alpine scenery is almost entirely obscured.

 

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