Artwork of the month August

Steven Parrino, Candy Stevens (Pink Disaster), 1988

Steven Parrino

*1958 in New York, † 2005 in New York

Candy Stevens (Pink Disaster), 1988 

When Steven Parrino embarked on his artistic career at the end of the 1970s, painting, at least in the United States, had given way to new forms of art that explored questions of process, time and space. The artist clearly espoused this tradition as demonstrated by his remark that "My idea of painting came out of this performance mentality." Parrino initially made large-format, monochromatic paintings in luminous pink. When finished, he would put the canvas face down on the floor, undo the clamps with which it was attached to the stretcher, and pull on it to change the shape. He then clamped the resulting and, at times, randomly draped canvas onto the stretcher again. Although he considered himself a painter, his works, all based on similar formal principles, testify to an expanded understanding of traditional painting since the folds project eight centimetres into the room. Conventional painting is by definition two-dimensional but in Parrino's work, it has moved into the third dimension. As he puts it, "I'm still very conservative in my approach. I still make paintings even if they are three-dimensional." The New York artist mentions Andy Warhol, anti-form art and Jackson Pollock's drip paintings as seminal influences. At the time, art critics debated whether paintings were actually self-contained works of art or whether it would make more sense to interpret them in terms of action and process. Artists were increasingly classified as performers, whose oeuvre sought to express their inner state of mind. Parrinos work is informed with the energy of the folds that are essentially the substance of his artistic gesture. The "picture" has been physically moulded and the application of the paint merely provides the foundation.

<b>Steven Parrino, Candy Stevens (Pink Disaster), 1988 </b>
Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein highlights a work from the permanent collection each month throughout the year. Works from the collection of the Hilti Art Foundation are also included in this series on a regular basis.