This past winter, while working in his studio, Stephen Cimini’s thoughts wandered to memories of an old friend who died in 1984. While this memory was vivid, he momentarily couldn’t remember his friend’s name, 1984 was so long ago. This was the first of many friends who died from complications of Aids. Cimini was thus inspired to make this year’s small works exhibit at Jadite Galleries a tribute to all the people he knew who died during the early days of AID S. This isn’t a tribute in the traditional sense, but abstract expressions of the emotions evoked by those who passed. Twenty-five plus years later, the memories of lost friends may be less painful, but they are still a visceral part of our lives. Is the date 1984 a mere coincidence? There is no answer in this exhibition. The artist plays down the political aspects, leaving these debates to the more politically inclined. That said, the irony of the Orwellian significance of that date should be noted. 1984, Orwell’s provocative and prophetic novel about a society that attempts to achieve peace through war and the love of Big Brother through brainwashing and torture, has been, at times, either banned or considered intellectually dangerous to the public. A generation once considered 1984 emblematic of a frightening future, while now many look back at it as the beginning of new and sometimes frightening present.
As in his past work, Cimini uses his distinct architectural abstract style with oil paint, wax medium and marble dust to create the lush depth of texture and color. Where these pieces differ is in the small, 10 x 7 inch, house-like shapes of the canvases. Each of the 13 paintings embodies a symbol of a joyful spirit, the titles, a single word of inspiration.
A recent recipient of the Pollock-Krasner grant awarded to artists with established abilities, Cimini has exhibited in various New York City galleries as well as galleries throughout the country. His work is held in corporate and private collections worldwide.
An exhibition catalog with an essay by Ed McCormack will be available at the gallery and on amazon.com.