Pocket Utopia is pleased to present "Twilit Ensembles," a solo exhibition of new paintings, drawings, sculptures and collages by Paul D'Agostino. Creating sets within series, stories across drawings, sculptures out of characters, and settings from paintings, the poet and artist Paul D'Agostino employs narrative relationships within and throughout his works that are sometimes in opposition to each other, sometimes complementary.
In the series "Floor Translations," D'Agostino takes what is generally considered a linguistic craft and turns it into a formal, form-generative process by morphing blobs of paint on the floor into various creatures and protagonists, such as monster fish and shrieking chickens. The accidental mark is thus delineated, identified and named, then woven into a narrative linking one drawing to the next. Each "Floor Translation," then finds yet fuller form and dimension in a sculptural portrait. Shadowy and wraith-like, D'Agostino's wall-bound sculptures perch atop wires set into invertible sconces made from floor-suggestive blocks of wood. The drawings and sculptures will be on display, and an artist's book has been published for the occasion. "Floor Translations," produced in collaboration with C. G. Boerner, is a graphic, humorous, tragicomic kind of picture book, a mysterious theater in which D'Agostino spins curious tales like a master manipulator of marionettes.
Narrative and language-based parameters are active everywhere in D'Agostino's works. In his ongoing series of mixed-media collages called "Futuro anteriore / Future Perfect," the artist explores the possibilities of linking imagery to a particular verbal tense. In his new body of paintings gathered under the title "Nocturnes," D'Agostino employs a repetitive and phrase-like approach to palette selection and mark making, resulting in usually diptych compositions full of music and vesperal mood.
Paul D'Agostino (b. 1977, Hackettstown, NJ; raised Virginia Beach, VA) holds a Ph.D. in Italian Literature and is Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at CUNY Brooklyn College, where he also works in the Art Department as a writing advisor. D'Agostino has been curating art exhibits at Centotto since 2008, and he is Contributing Editor at "The L Magazine," Assistant Editor of "Journal of Italian Translation" and co-founder of a blog devoted to art writing, "After Vasari." His mixed media, mixed aesthetic, variably language-based artworks have been featured in many group exhibitions, mostly in New York and Philadelphia, and recently in Paris as well. His 2012 solo exhibition at Norte Maar Gallery, "Appearance Adrift in the Garden," was accompanied by "Bodies, Voids and a Tale of Seas," a limited edition chapbook of the artist's original writings in five different languages. "Twilit Ensembles" is D'Agostino's first solo exhibition at Pocket Utopia.
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