“He was a golden boy, always successful,” says gallerist Amalia Dayan of late Italian artist Domenico Gnoli in a recent W Magazine feature. “He wasn’t a marginal figure. His show in New York, right before he died [at the early age of 36, just five years after his work started to pick up], was at Sidney Janis, one of the most important galleries at the time. So his work was accepted in a positive way—but it was strange work. It didn’t look like anything else at the time. It still doesn’t.”
Domenico’s paintings zone in on a tiny, often overlooked, detail—a button, a part of someone’s hair, a collar—and blow them into medium to large works of about 50 by 50-inches each. Most of the pieces are painted with acrylic mixed with sand, projecting a dry, almost matte texture that sets them apart from most other paintings. What makes Domenico’s work especially stand out, however, is the artist’s unique subject matter and sensibility.
The first exhibit in the U.S. since Domenico’s death in 1970 can currently be seen in New York’s Luxembourg & Dayan Gallery.