“Maquette” is the triptych of key motifs with pop influences by Domenico Gnoli – ARTnews.com

Domenico Gnoli might have been one of the preeminent post-war artists had he not succumbed to cancer in 1970 at the age of thirty-six. Testimony to this possibility is his rich retrospective on view at the Fondazione Prada. An exemplary painting is the triptych Model (1967). Although less than two feet wide, it incorporates elements of his most famous oversized paintings – enigmatic, tightly cropped – in which clothes, shoes and hair are scaled well beyond proportion. human beings, with the dynamism of his early commercial work in magazine illustration. , prints and scenography.

The scene features four adults standing in a circle, like on a stage, while three children wait nearby. Gnoli crops the scene to see only the heads of the children and adults from the top of the thigh to the shoulder. The group occupies the left and middle panels, with the emptiness to the right creating both a catchy spatial rhythm and a sense of something else critical for the moment happening beyond what we are allowed to see. .

The painting’s surface is equally intricate, demonstrating Gnoli’s technical mastery. By fusing a fresco-like background with lines of precise color inflected by subtle gradations that make up the figures, Gnoli achieves the graphic quality of Pop art. But his play with superimposed forms puts more emphasis on interpretation. Through the theatricality of the positioning of the figures – where the focal point is the three almost identical headdresses of the children and, to a lesser extent, the patterns of the women’s dresses – Gnoli seems to draw attention to the newfound importance of the image of oneself in society. elite born in the wake of Italy’s post-war economic miracle. His style savors the brilliance of materialism even if he warns against the homogenization that ensues.

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