NEW YORK CITY–FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Hugo Galerie Soho
Guerre et Paix
Featuring Patrick Pietropoli
6–28 November 2021
HUGO GALERIE is pleased to present Guerre et Paix, a solo exhibition of Patrick Pietropoli’s arresting, invigorating, and enthralling powers of observation. This altogether new body of work demonstrates the occasionally pronounced but more often diminished distinctions of the show’s ostensible dichotomy.
This collection includes Pietropoli’s captivating paintings of the Eiffel tower. In his signature manner, the artist arranges a bespoke view of Paris’ foremost and famous icon—forgoing the more typical vista of its entirety and instead focusing on singular portions. The perspective is intimate, the framing seductive. But before categorizing the pinnacle of romantic architecture within the peaceful branch of the exhibition, recall that the Eiffel Tower was built for the centennial celebration of the French Revolution. Pietropoli himself likens the steel lace structure to weaponry. For a painter who so convincingly depicts reality, things are seldom really what they seem.
Further examples of his subtle subterfuge are the sultry portraits of an armored inamorata that pair feminine allure with industrial defense. Or the rare still life compositions that contrast enduring elegance with precarity. Domestic interiors just as easily imply safety as isolation; Pietropoli’s masterful command of architectural mystique is worth swooning over—and yet, the past year has taught us that home is not always what the heart wants. The historic Santa Maria del Fiore appears futuristic in a surreal vantage that miniaturizes Manhattan’s skyline above it. A rusty and rugged tugboat on the Hudson River is nothing less than glamorous in the sunset’s golden glow. Duality is our reality.
It is impossible to fully appreciate the nuanced individuality of this new collection without considering Pietropoli’s chosen title for the exhibition: Guerre et Paix, or War and Peace, shares its name with Leo Tolstoy’s tome chronicling the Russian Campaign of 1812. There are many similarities between the two artists and their works. Tolstoy pioneered a “god’s eye” point of view noted for its omniscience on a popular and personal scale. Pietropoli is a contemporary vedutisti painter, an artist whose canvases are as grand as they are intricate—affording his viewers an equally “god’s eye” vision. Both weave the fictional, figurative, and narrative with the historical, philosophical, and anthropological. Their art has a consciousness that transcends the limitations of its respective medium, lending Tolstoy’s writing and Pietropoli’s painting near agency in a contemporary context. But whereas Tolstoy was fraught over ethical imperfections, Pietropoli is defiantly elated to insist on the beauty that can be found within our adamantly ambiguous world.
And this is critical. More compelling than the whispers of French philosophy and murmurs of Russian literature, Pietropoli’s paintings are beautiful. Today’s cultural trend toward hedonism and hyperbole has caused the word “beauty” to lose a little of its splendor. It can sound trite. Pietropoli does not present beauty as a societal platitude but as it truly is—a transcendental. A transcendental is a property of being, something that is fundamental and common to all beings. There are only three transcendentals: truth, goodness, and beauty. He insists on beauty, demands beauty. It is beauty that grounds and fortifies his art against our murky, moral milieu. Whether in war or peace, or more likely a combination of both, Pietropoli reminds us that beauty must always be excavated, preserved, and honored. Our humanity depends on it.
Chateau de Vaux le Vicomte, oil on linen, 38″ x 40″ (97 x 102cm)
Pont Neuf, oil on linen, 34″ x 52″ (86 x 132cm)
Amazon, oil on linen, 38″ x 40″ (97 x 102cm)
HUGO GALERIE is a fine art gallery in New York City specializing in contemporary figurative painting and sculpture. The gallery represents an international roster of artists working in a variety of media and range of genres. Please direct inquiries to email@example.com.
JOSEPH ADOLPHE | ELIZABETH ALLISON | FRANÇOIS ANTON | DIEGO BENÉITEZ | BETH CARTER | MARC CHALMÉ | GUILLAUME CHANSAREL | YVES CRENN | JESÚS CURIÁ | MARC DAILLY | LAURENT DAUPTAIN | FABIENNE DELACROIX | PHILIPPE H. DEQUESNE | JERNEJ FORBICI | ĠOXWA | ALBERT HADJIGANEV | FEDERICO INFANTE | PHILIPPE CHARLES JACQUET | CHIZURU MORII KAPLAN | SANDRINE PAUMELLE | JOSEPH PAXTON | PATRICK PIETROPOLI | ALEJANDRO QUINCOCES | DANIEL RAYNOTT | XAVIER RODÉS | ERIC ROUX-FONTAINE | BRIAN KEITH STEPHENS | BENOÎT TRIMBORN