Gino de Dominicis, Ancona 1947 - 1998 Rome
With frame: 67 x 25 x 8 cm (26 3/8 x 9 7/8 x 3 1/8 in.)
ProvenanceMilano, Guido Galimberti,
Milano, Galleria Tega.
LiteratureI. Tomassoni, Gino De Dominicis. Catalogo Ragionato, Milano 2011, pp. 106, 404, 405, n. 407;
D. Trombadori, in AA. VV., Gino De Dominicis, Milano 2011, pp. 106–107.
Gino de Dominicis’s Untitled (1990) features a slim, vertical red figure set against a gleaming gold background and held within a black-framed box, evoking the visual language of Byzantine icons and holy reliquaries. While the body of the figure is a simple, red stripe painted on the gold, its prominent head juts forwards in a distinctive, pointed beak which might be compared to the conical mask of a plague doctor in the early modern era. Uniting futuristic forms with references to the distant past, this work resists easy interpretation, instead offering an effect which is surreal, enigmatic, and ultimately tantalisingly irresistible as the eye and mind search for a meaning always just beyond their reach. This powerful work is exemplary of the artist’s later career, which often featured silhouetted forms suggestive of the shadows and footprints of deities, spectral traces of entities that have passed through our spatial and temporal sphere but defy human understanding, leaving only allusive clues as to their true purpose and being.
Such an aura of mystery befits De Dominicis, perhaps the most elusive figure of the Italian postwar avant-garde. De Dominicis rejected conventional linear interpretations of time, arguing that truth resided instead in an “eternal present”. “A glass, a man, a hen…are not really a glass, a man, a hen…to truly exist, things would have to exist eternally, immortally. Only then would they be not only verifications of certain possibilities, but truly things,” De Dominicis once asserted (quoted in C. Christov-Bakargiev, ‘Gino De Dominicis’, Flash Art International, December 1986, p. 127). This ideal of immortality became De Dominicis’s central artistic concern, and in his works he seemingly assumed the vantage point of an immortal being whose understanding transcended the bounds of human perception. In works like the present one, De Dominicis deployed traditional media and techniques to access a sense of timelessness, as a sort of key to the temporal planes of the past. Indeed, as the artist himself once noted: “Drawing, painting and sculpture are not traditional but original forms of expression, and thus also belong to the future” (quoted in L. Cherubini, “Gino de Dominicis: Perfect Living Object” Flash Art International, vol. 260, May/June 2008, n. p.). Contained within its golden, otherworldly parcel, the eerie protagonist of Untitled stands sentinel, as if sent from another realm to guard its secrets.
Please note that the price and availability of the above work are subject to change without prior notice. Where applicable ARR will be added.