Details were Domenico Gnoli’s main obsession and the focus of his most complete achievements as a painter. In Shirt Collar Size 14 ½ the artist manages to uncover a fresh and original component of the painted medium with a sculptural dimension similar to Baroque artist Lorenzo Bernini’s perfection of the details in his marble masterpieces. In this one painting, Gnoli combines the multiple conceptual informants of painting and sculpture, these “radically different” media, while never diluting one or the other, nor conflating the two. The collar is now a fragment of the whole of the shirt, reminiscent of that which graces the back of Benjamin Franklin’s marble portrait by Jean Antoine Houdon. The canvas, with its sandy and grainy texture, is like the heavily worked surface of a Robert Ryman canvas while the measure of the collar assumes a quasi-conceptual dimension like the date in an On Kawara painting or one of the numbers in Mario Merz’s Fibonacci series. The white shirt, which was most probably residing ironed and well-folded in a drawer of his closet, or on a shelf at a department store, enlarged and magnified as it is on the canvas, becomes a universal image freed from any possible limiting narrative. It reflects both fashion and culture. It represents both purity and elegance. It’s rigorous and humble. It is a Symbol that Gnoli has been able to create within the natural and conventional space of a painting.
Shirt Collar Size 14 1/2
Acrylic, sand on canvas
Signed, titled and dated "D. Gnoli 1969 'Shirt collar size 14 1/2'" on the reverse.
It is our opinion that this work is in excellent condition. It comprises of acrylic and sand on canvas, supported by a 5-member, keyable wood stretcher, presented in a wood frame. There is a light stretcher bar impression horizontally through the center of the canvas; small, localized areas of stable cracking near the lower half and evidence of faint drip accretion in the lower right, only visible under UV filtered light. This work has been examined under UV filtered light with no evidence of inpainting.
New York, Sidney Janis Gallery, Domenico Gnoli, December 3 - December 27, 1969Paris, Galerie Isy Brachot, Domenico Gnoli, 1978New York, Dickinson Gallery, WHITE, November 4 - December 10, 2013
66 7/8 x 51 1/8 in. (170 x 130 cm)
Domenico Gnoli, exh. cat., Sidney Janis Gallery, New York, 1969, no. 26 (illustrated)L. Carluccio, Domenico Gnoli, New York: Overlook Press, 1974, p. 131 (illustrated)V. Sgarbi, Domenico Gnoli, Milan: Ricci Editore, 1983, p.155 (illustrated)
Galerie Isy Brachot, ParisCollection Gustav Stein, HonrathGalerie Lilo Schulz-Siemens, DusseldorfPrivate Collection, ParisPrivate Collection, France
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