Pedro-Barbeito-Archetypes-and-Historicity-Painting-and-Other-Radical-Forms1

Pedro Barbeito

This volume collects texts written to accompany exhibitions held in the Mario Diacono Gallery between 1994 and 2007. It constitutes, with Verso una nuova Iconografia and Iconography and Archetypes, the third and final survey the author attempted of the advanced painting being made in the United States and Europe. The circulation of the same lexicon among the three titles implies that they are almost interchangeable, reflecting a continuity between new works and old imaginary. The thread linking contemporary images to past icons is visible despite a reinventing or even an inventing of the media that the artists are using to materialize their ideas.

If the novelty of the techniques is always deliberate, however, the return of an image’s archetypal structure may be instead mostly subconscious. The intertexuality, or interfigurality, between old and contemporary images, in the last thirty or forty years, points to the other sphere of globalism, beside the spatial one that the cybermedia and the multi-national economy are generating. It’s the temporal globality that the encyclopedic museums, the philosphy of consciousness, art books, jet travel, an ever-deepening knowledge of the past, the dissemination of information have constructed in the modern mind, and that renders all art diachronic in facture but synchronic in meaning. The strength of an artist’s intuition and formal devices is, of course, irreducible to the presence of an interfigurality; but a painting often receives a higher validation from the depth it acquires from its (re)invention of an archetype.

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Pedro Barbeito