It’s a bittersweet experience to come across a an artist whose work you love, only to find out that the work you have seen is their last. So it is with the works of Domenico Gnoli, a brilliant Italian-born, New York-based painter of the 1960s who sadly passed away at the young age of 36. And it really is a shame because his works are simply stunning. Up until recently his paintings have been kept hidden away in private collections, however now at the Luxembourg & Dayan gallery in New York rare works from 1964-1969 are being shown to their full beauty.
What I love about them is how the 60s drips off of them like slick pomade yet have this freshness and modernity about them. As large-scale works they concentrate on the finer details of the mundane and intimate. The subdued colours, rounded edges and neat lines and the weight these paintings carry is magic.
One of my favourites is Due Dormienti, with the soft outlines of the couple under the covers, but just as easily the tight crops on the buttoned-up ladies’ jackets or the close-ups of hair are so powerful and beautiful. I’m late on the appreciation of Domenico but it’s exhibitions like this that can remind us of, or introduce us, to artists we might not have come across otherwise.