Monday, October 30, 2017

Nicolas Cerone


Every year I discover two or three mid-century ABX painters whom I've never seen before.

The above piece, though less than 30 inches long, feels quite spacious - and it's been very carefully painted.


Figure drawing was demanded by art schools in the 1940's, and apparently Cerone never stopped   doing it.

This drawing might suggest that Cerone's abstract paintings began as a page of figurative quick sketches. 


What's especially surprising is the quality of this elegant bronze  -  given that the artist apparently made so few.   His raw talent for this kind of work must have been phenomenal.


This piece is so different from the solidity and angularity of the pieces shown above it.


This looks like a preparatory sketch for an interesting narrative painting that was never made.

2001, Signals for the Blind

If only this piece made some kind of narrative sense.

If only it achieved the beauty towards which it seems to be heading.


I'm going to title this  "Adam and Eve Driven from Paradise" or maybe "Lost Souls in Hell"

It reminds me a lot of Jim Dine's recent work

These pieces seem to fail both as portraits and as paintings.  They're dull, clumsy, ugly, and boring.

What was he thinking?

This piece reminds of Matisse's radical inventions

Overall -- Cerone's combinations of figure drawing and abstract painting feel awkward.

I like him best when he's doing the one or the other.

If only he had specialized in figure sculpture!


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