Friday, January 18, 2019

Rome Journal: Art Attack

Selfie from the Warhol show at the Vittoriano 
Along the walls of the “Pollock and the New York School” show at the Vittoriano, you’ll come upon two typos. “In the summer of l949, he went to Springs, New Hampton” and “Lee Krasner, a painter, even gave up paiting at one period.” The Pollock and accompanying “Andy Warhol” exhibition are running coevally with the Warhol retrospective at the Whitney and “Epic Abstraction: Pollock to Herrara” at the Met. But the booboos are so much in the spirit of action painting and spontaneity that they’re almost charming and excusable and you get to finish the Warhol with a selfie, which you can email home. Since the Abstract Expressionists and later Pop artists were such a break with European art, it’s a treat to see these two shows, which in their scope are, of course, overshadowed by their American counterparts. In the environment of Rome, the power of American art still upstages puny antiquity which continues to look like one of the stage sets on the Cinecitta lot, where the whole kit and caboodle are, by the way, replicated. One can’t help noticing that the love affair between Warhol and Italy (and particularly Italian fashion designers like Armani and Versace), represents a cross-pollination of the worst aspects of both cultures, coming to a head in the infatuation with celebrity.

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