Radical Consumption and the New Poverty   |   Art at the End of the Social   |   Hyperframes: A Post-Appropriation Discourse in Art (“The Yale Lectures”)   |   Malcolm Morley: The Art of the Superreal, the Rough, the Neo-Classical, and the Incommensurable   |   Robert Longo: 1980-2000   |   Caravaggio on the Beach: Essays on Art in the 1990s   |   Jonathan Lasker: Expressions Become Things – From Sketch to Study to Painting   |   Saint Clair Cemin: Sculptor from Cruz Alta   |   The Paintings of Ross Bleckner   |   Mark Innerst: Paintings of New York, 2005-2006   |   William Anastasi: Paintings, Small Works, Drawings   |   With Grass Ropes We Dragged the World to Her in Wooden Boat: Poems of Jordan, Syria, and Egypt   |   The Flower Paintings of Ross Bleckner   |   Peter Nagy: Entertainment Erases History – Works 1982 to 2004 to the Present   |   Sandro Chia: Paintings, Sculptures, Drawings, Mosaics   |   The Mannequin of History: Art After Fabrications of Critique and Culture   |    Skewed: Ruminations on the Writings and Works of Peter Halley

Radical Consumption and the New Poverty
Collins & Milazzo
(New York:  New Observations, 1987)


Art at the End of the Social

Collins & Milazzo
(Malmö, Sweden:  The Rooseum, 1988)


Cultural Promiscuity:
A Conversation with Collins & Milazzo and 13 Studies for a Painting
entitled
Cultural Promiscuity by Jonathan Lasker
(Rome, Italy:  Gian Enzo Sperone, 1989)


Hyperframes:  A Post-Appropriation Discourse in Art

(“The Yale Lectures”)
Collins & Milazzo
(Paris:  Editions Antoine Candau, 1989 and 1990)


La Salle des Pieds Perdus:
The Sculptures and Drawings of Abraham David Christian

Richard Milazzo
(New York:  Annina Nosei Gallery, 1999)


Malcolm Morley:
The Art of the Superreal, the Rough, the Neo-Classical, and the Incommensurable

Richard Milazzo
(Tangiers, Morocco:  Editions d’Afrique du Nord, 2001)


Robert Longo:  1980-2000

Richard Milazzo
(Modena, Italy:  Emilio Mazzoli Gallery, 2000)


Caravaggio on the Beach:  Essays on Art in the 1990s

Richard Milazzo
(Tangiers, Morocco:  Editions d’Afrique du Nord, 2000)


Jonathan Lasker:
Expressions Become Things – From Sketch to Study to Painting

Richard Milazzo
(New York - Paris - Turin:  Edgewise Press, 2005)


Saint Clair Cemin:  Sculptor from Cruz Alta

Richard Milazzo
(New York:  Brent Sikkema Editions, 2005)


The Paintings of Ross Bleckner

Richard Milazzo
 (Brussels, Belgium:  Editions Alain Noirhomme, 2006)


Mark Innerst: 
Paintings of New York, 2005-2006

Richard Milazzo
(Modena, Italy:  Emilio Mazzoli Gallery, 2007)


William Anastasi: 
Paintings, Small Works, Drawings

Richard Milazzo
(Modena, Italy:  Emilio Mazzoli Gallery, Modena, Italy, 2009)


With Grass Ropes We Dragged the World to Her in Wooden Boats:
Poems of Jordan, Syria, and Egypt

Richard Milazzo
with works on paper by Alessandro Twombly
(Cumiana, Italy:  Libri Canali Bassi / in collaboration with Paolo Torti degli Alberti, 2010)


The Flower Paintings of Ross Bleckner

Richard Milazzo
(Modena, Italy:  Galleria Mazzoli Editions, 2011)


Peter Nagy:
Entertainment Erases History – Works 1982 to 2004 to the Present

Richard Milazzo
(New York:  EISBox Projects, 2014)



Sandro Chia:
Paintings, Sculptures, Drawings, Mosaics

Richard Milazzo
(Modena, Italy:  Galleria Mazzoli Editions, 2014) 


The Mannequin of History:
Art After Fabrications of Critique and Culture

Richard Milazzo
(Modena, Italy: Franco Cosimo Panini, 2015) 


Skewed:
Ruminations on the Writings and Works of Peter Halley

Richard Milazzo
with an Italian translation by Brunella Antomarini and Pietro Traversa
(Modena, Italy: Galleria Mazzoli Editore, 2016)

Radical Consumption and the New Poverty
Collins & Milazzo
Issue No. 51:  October 1987.
28 pages, with 40 black and white reproductions,
 11 x 8.5 in., printed and bound (saddle-stitched) in the United States.
ISSN:  0737-5387.
New York:  New Observations, 1987.

 

Art at the End of the Social
Collins & Milazzo
With a Swedish translation by Stefan Sandelin.
First edition:  1988.
376 pages, with a color cover by Robert Gober and 177 color reproductions,
11.25 x 9.25 in., printed and bound by Bohusläningens Boktryckeri AB, Uddevalla, Sweden.
ISBN-10:  0-945295-03-3.
Malmö, Sweden:  The Rooseum, 1988.

 

Cultural Promiscuity:
A Conversation with Collins & Milazzo and 13 Studies for a Painting
entitled
Cultural Promiscuity by Jonathan Lasker

Collins & Milazzo and Jonathan Lasker
First edition:  June 1989.
56 pages, with 13 color reproductions,
6.5 x 8.25 in., printed by Fernando Begliomini, Rome, Italy.
Rome:  Gian Enzo Sperone, 1989.

 

Hyperframes:  A Post-Appropriation Discourse in Art
(“The Yale Lectures”)
Collins & Milazzo
With French translations by Giovanna Minelli (Vol. I),
and by Giovanni Minelli, Marion Laval-Leantet and Benôit Mangin (Vol. II).
First edition (Vol. I):  1989.
128 pages, with black and white photographs of the authors by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders on the gatefolds
and black and white photographs by Allan McCollum on the frontispieces,
8.5 x 5 in., printed and bound in France.
ISBN-10:  2-908139-00-6.
First edition (Vol. II):  1990.
228 pages, with black and white photographs of the authors by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders on the gatefolds
and black and white photographs by Allan McCollum on the frontispieces,
8.5 x 5 in., printed and bound in France.
ISBN-10: 2-908139-08-1.
Paris:  Editions Antoine Candau, 1989 and 1990, respectively.
Vol. III:  unpublished.

Hyperframes: A Post-Appropriation Discourse in Art, based on six lectures delivered by Collins & Milazzo at Yale University in 1988 and 1989, provides the reader with a history of the new conceptual art of the 1980s. At issue in the book are the cultural phenomena of reification, critical photography, conceptual abstract painting, and Postmodernism. In the course of these analyses, Collins & Milazzo provide, in their own inimitable and controversial style, a veritable onslaught of theoretical and ‘post-critical’ frames through which to release (rather than merely describe or judge) art from the habits of language and perception. Their writings as ‘critics’ and their ‘vision’ as curators fostered both a new critical language and a new active mode of seeing. This, in turn, allowed them to construct a non-reflexive ‘History’ of new art forms, a ‘critical Spectacle,’ or anti-criticism — a form of working that permitted Collins & Milazzo to function paradoxically, and ultimately, as advocates of a whole new generation of artists, among whom must be counted Ross Bleckner, James Welling, Peter Nadin, Kevin Larmon, Steven Parrino, Richard Prince, Peter Nagy, Sarah Charlesworth, Mark Innerst, Gretchen Bender, Allan McCollum, Peter Halley, Jonathan Lasker, Haim Steinbach, Jeff Koons, Philip Taaffe, Robert Gober, Not Vital, Saint Clair Cemin, Annette Lemieux, Sal Scarpitta, Meg Webster, Lawrence Carroll, and Vik Muniz.

Besides the six lectures, the two volumes of Hyperframes, now known infamously as the “Green Books,” include the statements and catalogue essays for the twenty-six exhibitions Collins & Milazzo curated in commercial gallery spaces and museums in the United States and Europe from March 1984 to February 1989, shows such as The New Capital, Paravision, Spiritual America, Modern Sleep, The Antique Future, Extreme Order, The New Poverty, Media Post Media, Art at the End of the Social, Hybrid Neutral, and Pre-Pop Post-Appropriation. Many of these texts had never been published before. The third volume of the lectures, in fact, remains unpublished to this day.

Hyperframes: A Post-Appropriation Discourse in Art is a record of Collins & Milazzo’s contribution to American Art of the 1980s.

 

Malcolm Morley:
The Art of the Superreal, the Rough, the Neo-Classical, and the Incommensurable 1958-1998

Richard Milazzo
First edition paperback:  September 2000.
136 pages, with a 2-color gatefold cover, a portfolio of black and white portraits of the artist
 by the author, Joy L. Glass, and Michaela Langenstein,
a black and white photograph of the artist on the frontispiece by Michaela Langenstein,
32 color reproductions, 8 x 5 in., printed, sewn, and bound in Turin, Italy.
ISBN-10:  1-893207-10-2.  ISBN-13:  978-606-8229-48-5.
Tangiers, Morocco:  Editions d’Afrique du Nord, 2000.

Richard Milazzo’s essay, Malcolm Morley: The Art of the Superreal, the Rough, the Neo-Classical, and the Incommensurable, analyzes many of the most seminal paintings the artist executed from 1958 to 1998, as well as all of the sculptures and several of the watercolors and drawings. Written like the monographs of old, it closely scrutinizes the relation between the artist’s life and work. He examines the two post-World War II art movements that Malcolm Morley founded – the Superrealism of the 1960’s and 1970’s and the Neo-Expressionism of the 1980’s –, as well as the most recent work of the 1990’s, which the author contends is a synthesis of the first two bodies of work and identifies as ‘Neo-Classical’.

The author analyzes these three periods through his theory of the incommensurable which attempts to locate and explain — and which reflects Morley’s own efforts to explore — the discrepancies existing between the artist’s subconscious and his well-known grid technique. The author shows that it is precisely the ‘mistakes’ or ‘slip-ups’ generated by the libido of the individual in conflict with the ‘superego’ or overriding rational systems of art and history that result in the visionary blindness of the artist. He writes: “What all the phases of Malcolm Morley’s life and work have in common are the boats – whether the giant ocean liners of his Superrealist paintings or the more modest sail and ‘life’ boats of his Neo-Expressionist works; and, in a sense, they can all be related to the toy model, H.M.S. Nelson, he lost as a child in World War II. All the subsequent boats can be viewed as a reenactment of the painful loss of innocence or as an excruciating separation and ultimate loss of this beloved mother ship or object of desire. Combined with the adulterations of later life, it can be seen that the artist has spent his whole life recuperating from the trauma of this symbolic loss.” Traveling timelessly and relentlessly through a Cézanne-like space – which “becomes more dimensional the more it is flattened” – to salvage his symbolic, beloved ‘Rosebud’ from the wreck of History, Morley rediscovers at the end what he already knew at the beginning: that this ‘object’ is lodged ultimately, deeply, forever in the port soul of his art.

According to the author, Malcolm Morley tried from the very beginning to fill symbolically the holes of his existence – from the bombed-out wall in his bedroom during the war (which destroyed his toy boat) to the hole literally under the kitchen sink which he could not repair or fill during his first job after he got out of prison, to the break-ins and prison cells (that were his first ‘studios’), to the portholes, fissures, and folds in his paintings. In the spirit of Cézanne (and Barnett Newman), Morley becomes perversely a defender of the illusionism of painting through its materic values (flatness, as well as facture), even as he battles against personal and social disillusionment and struggles for the mythic or primitive and the tragic or ‘slip-up’ over the binding super-structural ideas and ideologies of art and society, among which he counts the ‘grid’ both as a technique in his work that he favors and as the preeminent symbolic mode of rationality that he persistently questions. Where family, religion, ideology, and even beauty are found to be wanting, or even corrupt, as values, Morley asserts instead the experience of transformation as a mode of outer and inner transcendence or “deeper unexpectedness.” The artist, as a blind man, can he as such perhaps dream in colors and forms never before glimpsed?

At the end of the book, Richard Milazzo asks and answers the following questions: “Is the figure with blank, green eyes or sunglasses who dominates the scene [in Aegean Crime], Oedipus, who unknowingly kills his father, sleeps with his mother, and then plucks out his own eyes in retribution? Or is he the blind man Malcolm Morley encountered as a young boy of five or six long ago along the boardwalk in a seaside town on the English Channel in 1930’s? Is the crime blindness – the artist’s, ours, the universe’s? Do the green eyes or sunglasses reflect the enormous incommensurability of the cosmos itself or are they transparent to the cosmos as a rhetorical figure, waiting to be re-invented at the drop of a coin in a blind man’s tin cup? Where civilization could once transform the blind man into a prophet or a visionary, can culture now only convert vision into blindness, tragedy into bathos, and the unconscious itself into a form of kitsch? So what is it in the end that blocks our view, and makes us see only what we want to see in the heart of man – murder or some other unspeakable crime? I think people subconsciously want to see this dark thing in Morley because of what they actually see there – a radically uncompromised practice that will stop at nothing, that will acknowledge no boundary, to achieve its end. They want to see Caravaggio’s misdeeds in Morley because what they really want to see is a form or level of painting that is as defiant and definite in our time as Caravaggio’s was in his. And this is just another way to get to it.” In the end, this is precisely what the author, in Malcolm Morley: The Art of the Superreal, the Rough, the Neo-Classical, and the Incommensurable, argues they get in the artist’s work.

 

Robert Longo:  1980-2000
Richard Milazzo
With essays by Richard Milazzo and Achille Bonito Oliva
and Italian and English translations by Manuela Brushini and Steve Piccolo.
First edition deluxe hardback:  November 2000.
184 pages, with a 4-colour gatefold jacket, pages printed in various colors,
a black and white photograph of the artist on the frontispiece by Garrick Imatani, 70 color reproductions,
15.5 x 12.5 x 1 in., printed, sewn, and bound in Castelvetro, Piacentino (Pc), Italy.
Modena, Italy:  Emilio Mazzoli Editore, 2000.

 

Caravaggio on the Beach:  Essays on Art in the 1990’s
Richard Milazzo
First edition paperback:  January 2001.
136 pages, with a 2-color gatefold cover, a portfolio of black and white portraits of the artist
by the author, Joy L. Glass, and Michaela Langenstein,

a black and white photograph of the artist on the frontispiece by Michaela Langenstein,
32 color reproductions, 8 x 5 in., printed, sewn, and bound in Turin, Italy.
ISBN:  1-893207-06-4.
Tangiers, Morocco:  Editions d’Afrique du Nord, 2001.

Richard Milazzo’s selection of essays, Caravaggio on the Beach: Essays on Art in the 1990’s, adapt a variety of forms — travelogue, exhibition and symposium statement, letter, obituary, meditation, as well as the formal essay — to document equally the phenomenon of abstraction as the basis of the groundlessness of all values and as a viable mode in our culture, and the noumenon of soul as a possible threshold moment of meaning in art and as an incontrovertible void. The author analyzes from this diastolic point of view the work of the artists from his generation in the 1980’s — Ross Bleckner, Allan McCollum, Peter Halley, Jonathan Lasker, Jeff Koons, Philip Taaffe, Robert Gober, Annette Lemieux, Saint Clair Cemin — and also the work of Sal Scarpitta, Frank Stella, William Anastasi, Richard Serra, Malcolm Morley, Bill Rice, and that of a younger generation in the 1990’s, such as Vik Muniz, Lawrence Carroll, Fabian Marcaccio, Jessica Stockholder, Julian Trigo, Elliot Schwartz, Michel Frère, and Alessandro Twombly.

He examines also the devastating effect ideology has had on art in the last decade, and tries to determine, in the spirit of Goya, what the sleep of monsters (rather than that of reason) has produced during this period. While some artists, in his view, dangerously condense the threshold of an undifferentiated figure/ground relation, others continue problematically to widen it to create the New Plasticity in abstract painting. He asks: “Do the ‘disasters of war’ — the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, AIDS, the corporate exploitation of Third World labor markets, income inequality, and their complements, seemingly inextinguishable poverty and irreversible environmental apocalypse — promote the ‘disasters of painting’, i.e., a kind of exaggerated glorification of the material and ideological values of art without a true formal or spiritual dimension? And conversely, can the anguish of a Francis Bacon figure be related to the anxiety generated by the incompleteness of a Sol LeWitt cube?” The author also looks at the critical methodology of exhibition-making; Ross Bleckner’s underexpressionism; and Abraham David Christian’s abstract sculpture, with its Third World architectonic exploiting “the libidinal disorders of an ungraspable universe.”

While speculating about the new Body Art generated by the rhetorical moralism of the New York art world in the 1990’s, the author postulates in a perambulatory way the undifferentiated truth of art, which would return world to (the mirror of) representation as the synthetic experience of abstraction and soul. Commentaries on Jacques-Louis David’s Madame Récamier, the cemeteries of Cairo, Jackson Pollock’s studio floor, Velasquez’s dwarfs, Lorenzo Ghiberti’s bronze doors for the Baptistry in Florence, and Freud’s apartment in Vienna fuel the book’s post-Postmodernist atteggiamento. And there are more private ruminations on the destruction of the Barceloneta (the old port) by reason of the 1996 Olympics and on the Greek poet Constantine Cavafy’s apartment rooms at No. 4, Sharia Sharm el-Sheikh in Alexandria (Egypt), as well as reflections on the “green nights” or impenetrable images that were used to transmit anaesthetically to us the bombings of Belgrade conducted under the cover of night and on the Plaça Reial in Barcelona, with its elegant syntax of tall palm trees and engorged street lamps designed by Antonio Gaudí. In the end, Caravaggio on the Beach is not unlike the boat that Michel Frère left behind at Chelsea Pier on the Hudson River after his recent death or the vessel at Port’Ercole (near Rome), itself afflicted by pun and apocrypha, which ultimately precipitated Caravaggio’s death from sun stroke as he (already debilitated by previous wounds and misfortunes) ran up and down the beach trying desperately to retrieve his effects under the hot July sun: it (this book as boat) is an inconsolable abstraction that impossibly and ironically carries with it like death itself the soul of a fragment of earth destined for no known port of call.

 

Jonathan Lasker:
Expressions Become Things – From Sketch to Study to Painting
Richard Milazzo.
 First edition hardback:  September 2005.
88 pages, with a 4-colour gatefold jacket, a black and white photograph of the artist by the author
on the frontispiece, 13 color reproductions, 13 x 9.25 x .5 in.,
printed, sewn, and bound in Turin, Italy.
ISBN:  1-893207-15-3.
New York - Paris - Turin:  Edgewise Press, 2005.

Jonathan Lasker: Expressions Become Things by Richard Milazzo is the first book to analyze the role of the sketch in the artist’s work. Preliminary even to the small studies, the sketches are the stage in which Jonathan Lasker works out his initial ideas for a painting. Even before making the study or studies that precede the painting, the artist sketches out the most rudimentary of forms and colors, often making the most radical of changes in the process of arriving at the image that will become the final painting.

In observing as we do in this book the evolution of the eleven sketches, we see, as it were, the artist’s mind at work. In his essay, the author also analyzes the distinct relation of the sketches to the single study and their relation to the painting, Expressions Become Things, all executed in 2000. The eleven sketches, the study, and the final painting are all reproduced in color.

Reminiscent of the seminal volume, Jonathan Lasker: A Conversation with Collins & Milazzo and 13 Studies for a Painting Entitled “Cultural Promiscuity,” published by Gian Enzo Sperone in Rome in 1987, which could also be used to understand the artist’s work in general, Richard Milazzo’s Jonathan Lasker: Expressions Become Things is an instrument created specifically to closely scrutinize not only the working process but the act of conception or origination in a work of art.

Jonathan Lasker is generally considered to be one of the most important artists to emerge from the 1980s. His work has been critical to the development of American abstract painting over the course of nearly two decades. Through the author’s essay and the artist’s pictures, we can trace, step by step, the aesthetic and material procedures that continue to make Lasker’s work central to the discourse on abstract painting in the new millennium. A special deluxe boxed set, in an edition of 25, with 5 artist’s proofs, has been produced to celebrate the publication of this book. It contains a signed and numbered copy of the book and four actual-size prints based on the sketches. This deluxe edition has been designed by Richard Milazzo, and is published by Edgewise Press, Inc., New York, and Paolo Torti degli Alberti, Turin.

A special deluxe boxed set, in an edition of 25, with 5 artist’s proofs, has been produced to celebrate the publication of this book. It contains a signed and numbered copy of the book and four actual-size prints based on the sketches.

 

Saint Clair Cemin:  Sculptor from Cruz Alta
Richard Milazzo
First edition hardback:  October 2005.
528 pages, with a 4-colour gatefold jacket, a black and white photograph of the artist
on the frontispiece by Paolo Roversi, 154 color and 500 black and white reproductions,13.25 x 9.75 x 1.75 in.,
printed, sewn, and bound in Belgrade, Serbia.
ISBN:  1-893207-25-0.
New York:  Brent Sikkema Editions, 2005.

About the first monograph on this “New York artist from Brazil,” Saint Clair Cemin: Sculptor from Cruz Alta, the author writes: “I have chosen not to apply any theories or to coerce the work into any interpretation. Instead, I have tried to allow the work to speak for itself, and, where it was possible and appropriate, for the artist to speak in his own behalf, either through his writings or through his interviews with me.” What we have as a result is a comprehensive study of Cemin’s work that goes straight to the source, to art as the soul, the inspiration, the spirit of man.

The monograph covers Saint Clair Cemin’s early years in Cruz Alta and São Paulo, showing how his roots both in provincial and cosmopolitan Brazilian culture helped to shape his vision as an artist. It tracks his development as a young artist in Europe, particularly during his Paris years, from 1974 to 1978. It documents the transitions and turning points in the artist’s career, especially during his life in New York’s Bohemian East Village of the early 1980’s, and goes on to show his coming of age in the New York art world and eventual rise to international prominence in the 1990’s.

As the author proceeds in his analysis of the Cemin’s work and life as a unified phenomenon, he takes into account the early influences on the artist, including his own countryman, the eighteenth-century, Baroque Brazilian sculptor, O Aleijadinho (The Little Cripple), the English poet, William Blake, the Catalan architect, Antonio Gaudì, from Barcelona, the French painter and sculptor, Paul Gauguin, and the quintessential Post-World-War-II German artist, Joseph Beuys. He shows how Cemin’s break with religion as a young man, his abiding interests in physics, philosophy, and science in general, and his early and rigorous devotion to drawing will all lead to his belief in art as a creative impulse that finds its greatest expression in universe as an extension of mind and in idea as an extension of craft.

Conversant in many languages and a traveler far and wide, Cemin’s feeling for ‘appropriation,’ the author argues, does not interfere with his regard for uniqueness in a work of art. On the contrary, the artist’s appropriation of cultural motifs and conventions only augments his feeling for material and technique, for originality and vision. Although Cemin is the consummate hybrid artist, equally at home carving or casting, moving from one style to another, from the Baroque to the Minimal, and in any material, the author devotes whole chapters on his works in bronze, marble, and wood, on his animals, furniture, monuments and fountains, and on the polymorphism (or the relation between the figurative and the abstract) in his works, as well as on specific pieces.

In addition to the intensive analysis of each of the works, beginning from a childhood drawing, Saint Clair Cemin: Sculptor from Cruz Alta contains approximately 500 black and white illustrations, 155 color plates of the artist’s most seminal works, a comprehensive history of his exhibitions, and a complete bibliography.

 

The Paintings of Ross Bleckner
Richard Milazzo
First edition hardback:  January 2007.
460 pages, with a 4-colour gatefold jacket, a black and white photograph of the artist
on the frontispiece by Ralph Gibson, 134 color and 250 black and white reproductions, 13.25 x 9.75 x 1.75 in.,
printed, sewn, and bound in Savignano sul Panaro, Modena, Italy.
ISBN-10:  2-930487-01-1.  ISBN-13:  978-930487-01-4.
Brussels, Belgium:  Éditions Alain Noirhomme, 2007.

The Paintings of Ross Bleckner is the first monograph on the artist covering thirty years of his work, from 1976 to 2006. About the book, the author Richard Milazzo writes: “The work has always been interested in bringing abstract painting closer to the realities of the external world, while endeavoring to plumb the depths of the subliminal realm of the psyche. Much lauded for the work Bleckner has done for ACRIA, the American Community Research Institute Initiative on AIDS, and as an outspoken advocate of the fight against the disease since the late 1980s, his paintings are symbolic expressions of a larger humanity, and, as such, also comprise formal as well as social values.”

Further, he explains: “Bleckner’s work can be appreciated also for its ‘non-signature qualities – for his independent-mindedness and his willingness and ability to change the ‘look’ of his paintings whenever he has seen fit to do so, something he has done relentlessly since the very beginning of his career in the 1970s. So, rather than commence where his retrospective at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York left off, in 1995, this book traces the development of the artist’s work through all its various phases, and tries to show, with the greatest possible detail, its multifaceted nature.”

The monograph begins with an analysis of Bleckner’s much overlooked Constructivist and Post-Constructivist paintings of the 1970s. It continues with chapter by chapter studies of all the series: the Stripe, Weather, Chandelier, and Memorial (or AIDS) paintings of the early to mid-1980s; the Post-Memorial or Stripe paintings reprised, the Unknown Quantities of Light, the Knight/Night and Architecture of the Sky series of the mid- to late 1980s; the Examined Life and Flower paintings of the early to mid-1990s; the Dream and Do, Cell and DNA works of the mid- to late 1990s; and the Specific and Anonymous, Inheritance, Protein, and Meditation paintings of the New Millennium.

Whether they are motivated by the brutal realism of the Cell paintings, the faint hope implicit in the Protein series, or the contemplative qualities of the new Meditation paintings, these images fly, and fall, like Icarus, through the divine vaults of humanity to the great ‘oculus’ or void at their very center: they are nothing, these works, if they do not examine mortality as the extreme expression of art. As another writer put it, it is “death as the ultimate artistic expression” that is at stake here. And this falling, is it not a “stepping into the eternal” – the ultimate groundlessness of the transcendent?

In addition to the intensive analysis of each of the works, The Paintings of Ross Bleckner contains 250 black and white illustrations, 134 color plates of Bleckner’s most seminal works, a comprehensive history of his exhibitions, and a complete bibliography.

 

Mark Innerst:
Paintings of New York, 2005-2007

Richard Milazzo
With an Italian translation by Brunella Antomarini.
First edition deluxe hardback:  October 2007.
200 pages, with a 4-colour gatefold jacket, pages printed in various colors,
a black and white photograph of the artist on the frontispiece by the author,
a black and white photographic self-portrait of the artist on the frontispiece, and 49 color reproductions,
13.50 x 15.5 x .5 in., printed, sewn, and bound in Savignano sul Panaro, Modena, Italy.
Modena, Italy:  Emilio Mazzoli Editore, 2007.

 

William Anastasi:
Paintings, Small Works, Drawings

Richard Milazzo
With an Italian translation by Brunella Antomarini.
First edition deluxe hardback:  May 2009.
240 pages, with a 4-colour gatefold jacket, pages printed in various colors,
a black and white photograph of the artist on the frontispiece by the author,
35 color and 112 black and white reproductions, 15.75 x 12.5 x 1.5 in.,
printed, sewn, and bound in Modena, Italy.
Modena, Italy:  Galleria Mazzoli Editore, 2009.

 

With Grass Ropes We Dragged the World to Her in Wooden Boats:
Poems of Jordan, Syria, and Egypt, 2008

Richard Milazzo
With Accompanying Works on Paper by Alessandro Twombly.
First edition hardback:  November 2010.
112 pages, with a 4-colour gatefold jacket, a black and white photograph of the artist
and the author on the frontispiece by Joy L. Glass, 27 color reproductions,
12.25 x 9.25 x .5 in., printed, sewn, and bound in Turin, Italy.
ISBN-13:  978-88-0-905385-0-6.
Cumiana, Italy:  Libri Canali Bassi / in collaboration with Paolo Torti degli Alberti, 2010.

About Richard Milazzo’s With Grass Ropes We Dragged the World to Her in Wooden Boats: Poems of Jordan, Syria and Egypt (2008), the Romanian poet and novelist, Adrian Sângeorzan, writes: “In his search of history and language, this rare traveler-poet brings to perception a curious and vivid third eye. Wherever he goes, the light of its sensibility refines sounds, images and ideas, compresses myths and emphasizes mysterious lost cities, surreal landscapes, solitary deserts and dead seas, seemingly bringing back to life civilizations not yet dead.

The poetry, fused to the works on paper of Alessandro Twombly, creates for the reader a perspective, a cinematography, of places and cultures linked by a silent desert, by the fragrance of eucalyptus and myrrh, and by an indestructible light inside the stones and fragility of time. Where the artist is attracted not only by the depth but also by the surface of things, the poet sees the bones of the moon in the mountains of Jordan, even as he catches the essence of Syria by telling the simple story of a girl in a café. Both have the rare gift of revealing the Orient in its negligee, glistening in the sun, with the past and present mingled by the sand and the sea.

The poet’s Orient in this book is a complex souk of feelings and smells, tombs and mosques, legendary gods and ordinary people lingering under a luminous sky filled with ivory, sphinxes, obelisks, swords, precious stones and the cheapest and most transcendent of dreams. From Petra to Wadi Rum, he walks on a rope of grass, and in magical wooden boats he crosses from Damascus to the Valley of the Kings, dragging the world from ruins and cruel reality to mystery and joy. It is a poetry so open that it allows itself to be transformed by the hidden beauty and truth of other people and places.”

A special deluxe-boxed set, in an edition of 25, has been produced to celebrate the publication of this book. It contains a signed and numbered copy of the book and six prints based on the 29 works on paper by Alessandro Twombly reproduced in color in the volume.

 

The Flower Paintings of Ross Bleckner
Richard Milazzo
First edition deluxe hardback:  January 2011.
460 pages, with a 4-colour gatefold jacket, a black and white photograph of the artist on the frontispiece
by Robert Banat, 126 colour and 200 black and white reproductions,13.25 x 9.75 x 1.75 in.,
printed, sewn, and bound in Castelvetro, Piacentino (Pc), Italy.
Modena, Italy:  Emilio Mazzoli Editore, 2011.

The Flower Paintings of Ross Bleckner by Richard Milazzo is the most comprehensive study of the artist’s work since the author’s monograph, The Paintings of Ross Bleckner, was published in Brussels in 2007, and since the catalogue for Bleckner’s retrospective exhibition at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York in 1995.

“Why analyze the floral portion of Bleckner’s work,” the author asks, “considering the diversity of his vision and his non-signature style? Because they become a primary and recursive part of his work, and because he sees the flower as the figure that most closely embodies the relation between mortality and the human condition. It is this ‘figure,’ perhaps even more than his infamous stripes, cells and birds, that will come to exemplify the relation between darkness and light, abstraction and figuration, and ultimately, epitomize the psychological object of desire, the flower’s fragility and transience, as such, appealing most of all to him.”

The flowers in Bleckner’s work have always been, from the very beginning, a ‘vehicle’ to explore this object or ‘tenor’ of transformation. The metaphor at work in the paintings is that of mortality, and the working method, that of methodological and metaphysical doubt. From the early ‘still lifes’ and sublime ‘landscapes’ of the Constructivist and Suprematist period, from 1976 to 1983, to the subtlest or symbolic, and sometimes kitsch, functions of the Memorial (or Commemoration) paintings and the Examined Life series, from 1985 to 1991; from the expressive immediacy of the classical Flower or Hothouse paintings, including the Yellow and Black series, from 1992 to 1997, to the lyrical and ‘documentary’ continuities of the Cell-influenced Inheritance paintings of the new millennium, from 2003 to 2006; from the more structural and spiritual continuities of the Meditation paintings to the rawest of temporalities in the most recent floral series, the Time (or Clock) paintings, from 2006 to 2010, “flowers have functioned basically within the context of a transformational ethos.

In Bleckner’s art, the evolution of the flower will follow a very specific trajectory: depending upon light as a source of energy (photosynthesis), they (the ‘organisms’ or objects of desire) will manifest themselves as pure forms or streams of light (the stripes), evolve into light sources (chandeliers and stars) that will transform themselves into flowers, and then, into cells, and later, into abstract or floral forms of light. The Flower Paintings of Ross Bleckner documents a journey that will carry us through the late works of such artists as Goya, Turner, Monet, de Kooning, and especially, the last flower paintings of Manet, as well Velásquez, Sargent, Malevich, Nolde, Mondrian, Guston, Burchfield, O’Keeffe, Mitchell, Smithson, and such contemporaries, as Twombly, Marden and Kiefer, to the very heart of Bleckner’s work.

 

Peter Nagy:
Entertainment Erases History – Works 1982 to 2004 to the Present

Richard Milazzo
First edition deluxe hardback:  January 2014.
480 pages, with a 2-colour gatefold jacket, a black and white photograph of the artist
on the frontispiece by Hari Nair, 45 color and 420 black and white reproductions,
15.5 x 13.5 x 1.75 in. (39.3 x 34.3 x 4.4 cm.), printed, sewn, and bound in Turin, Italy.
ISBN-10:  0-615-49792-6.  ISBN-13:  978-0-615-49792-1.
Brooklyn, New York:  EISBox Editions, 2014.

Peter Nagy: Entertainment Erases History – Works 1982 to 2004 to the Present by Richard Milazzo is the first monograph on the artist-dealer. The monograph grew out of a related exhibition the author curated at EISBox Projects, an independent space, in Brooklyn, New York, in April 2011. Where the exhibition focused on the first presentation of all of Nagy’s Xerox works from 1982 to 1984, accompanied by a limited selection of Cancer, Baroque and Rococo, and early Orientalist Paintings, the monograph compiles all, and analyses most, of the artist’s extant works from 1982 to 2004, including the Color Paintings he made in India, where the artist has lived and worked since 1992.

The author discusses also the history of Nagy’s fabled East Village gallery, Nature Morte, within the wider context of the art and culture of the 1980s, and the avant-garde role it continues to play in the world of contemporary art in India today. By the time the artist closed the gallery in New York in 1988, he had created several significant bodies of work, beyond the early Xeroxes: the Cancer Paintings of 1985 and 1986, which addressed through the use of abstraction the ‘cancer’ of global consumption; the metallic works of 1987, which commented on the negative aspects of the technological ‘revolution’; and the Baroque and Rococo Paintings of 1988 and 1989, which appropriated architectural motifs to generate a visionary form of critique in painting. With the Orientalist Paintings of the 1990s, with such series as the Self-Portraits and A Soft History of Imhotep, and his Color Paintings, stupas, and installations, the author elucidates how the artist moved from his earliest utilization of maps, floor plans, and architectural citations and from an American and European vision to a wider global ethos that included Asian or Middle East and Far Eastern cultures. Even as Nagy continued to work as an artist, he reopened Gallery Nature Morte in India, in 1997, to exhibit again the revolutionary art of his time and in the new millenium, this time half way around the world, and begins to work also as a curator and a writer on its behalf.

From his earliest 8½ x 11 in. Xeroxes to his Postmodern ‘altars,’ from his use of collage and montage, the techniques of miniaturization and magnification, to his use of extreme forms of abstraction, synchronicity, heterogeneity, contradiction, complexity and hybridization, critically reflecting the global culture and economy, the corporate Spectacle, all around him, the author shows how Nagy has formulated throughout his oeuvre a unique aesthetic. Like the exhibition, Peter Nagy: Entertainment Erases History – Works 1982 to 2004 to the Present discloses how the paintings, and the work, in general, moved from appropriation to abstraction to a combined use of both methodologies to create overall a body of work that remains unprecedented to this day.

In addition to an intensive, chapter-by-chapter analysis of each individual work and each period, this 480-page monograph contains 291 black and white illustrations, 129 black and white and 45 color reproductions of Nagy’s most seminal works, a timeline, a comprehensive history of his works and exhibitions, and a complete bibliography.

 

Sandro Chia:
Paintings, Sculptures, Drawings, Mosaics

Richard Milazzo
First edition deluxe hardback:  February 2014.
With an Italian translation by Brunella Antomarini.
604 pages, with a 4-colour gatefold jacket, a black and white photograph of the artist
on the frontispiece by Alessandro Valeri, 500 color and 60 black and white reproductions,
15.5 x 13.5 x 1.75 in. (39.3 x 34.3 x 4.4 cm.), printed, sewn, and bound in Modena, Italy.
Modena, Italy:  Galleria Mazzoli Editions, 2014.

Considering the emphasis the Florentines placed on disegno during the Renaissance, and given the fact that Sandro Chia was born in Florence (in 1946), it seems only right that this bilingual (English and Italian) monograph, Sandro Chia: Paintings, Sculptures, Drawings, Mosaics, by Richard Milazzo, should begin with an exhaustive study of 259 works on paper (drawings and watercolors) spanning over twenty years, from 1985 to 2013, and continues with essays on the artist’s paintings, sculptures and mosaics. The texts in this monograph deal with Chia’s early work as a conceptual artist in the 1970s, and with his work as a major painter and sculptor in the late twentieth and early twenty-first century.

Chia studied at the Istituto d’Arte and graduated from the Accademia di Arti in Florence in 1969. As a member of the Trans-avant-garde movement in Italy in the 1980s – an international movement that included the works of Chia, Enzo Cucchi, Francesco Clemente (the infamous three C’s), Mimmo Paladino and Nicola De Maria, and such German artists as Georg Baselitz, Anselm Kiefer, Sigmar Polke and Gerhard Richter, among others –, Chia led the way to reshaping the art world by reasserting figurative imagery, and, the author argues, by ironically reprising the history of revolutionary art movements in the twentieth century – Fauvism, Cubism, Expressionism, Futurism, etc. – as an endless spectrum of Postmodern tropes. It was as if Chia had reversed the infinite regress of the mirror (History) and projected it not as art’s past but as its dynamic present and future. It was truly a revolutionary moment, given the desiccated world of material and immaterial forms the Minimalist and Conceptual artists of the 1960s and ’70s had respectively wrought and left behind. Sandro Chia: Paintings, Sculptures, Drawings, Mosaics provides detailed analyses of Chia’s evolution as a painter in the 1980s, ’90s, and during the new millennium. It includes also full-dress studies of his sculptures and mosaics, as well as extensive interviews and several critical collaborations with the artist.

In addition to an intensive analysis of the artist’s paintings, sculptures, drawings, and mosaics, this monograph includes 500 color and 60 black and white reproductions, interviews and a collaborative text with the artist, a comprehensive history of the artist’s exhibitions, a complete bibliography, and an index of works.

 

The Mannequin of History:
Art After Fabrications of Critique and Culture

Richard Milazzo
First edition deluxe hardback:  September 2015.
With an Italian translation by Brunella Antomarini and Pietro Traversa.
352 pages, with a 4-colour gatefold jacket,
188 color and 38 black and white reproductions,
15.5 x 13.5 x 1.75 in. (39.3 x 34.3 x 4.4 com.), printed, sewn and bound in Modena, Italy.
ISBN-13: 978-88-570-1021-2.
Modena, Italy: Franco Cosimo Panini Editore, 2015.

On the occasion of EXPO MODENA 2015, Modena City Council, with the patronage of Region Emilia-Romagna in collaboration with APT Servizi srl and Confindustria Modena, presented an international exhibition of contemporary art, The Mannequin of History: Art After Fabrications of Critique and Culture, curated by Richard Milazzo, and taking place at MATA, the newly renovated Manifattura Tabacchi building which will function as a new cultural center in the future, in Modena, Italy, from September 18, 2015 to January 31, 2016. The exhibition was accompanied by a major book of theory and criticsm.

The exhibition and book included 48 artists from 11 countries (Italy, Libya, Great Britain, Switzerland, Panama, Germany, Brazil, Japan, Iran, China, and America): William Anastasi, Donald Baechler, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Carlo Benvenuto, Ross Bleckner, Alighiero e Boetti, Jake and Dinos Chapman, Sandro Chia, Francesco Clemente, Gregory Crewdson, Enzo Cucchi, Gino De Dominicis, Nicola De Maria, Urs Fischer, Nan Goldin, Felix González-Torres, Andreas Gursky, Peter Halley, Jenny Holzer, Mark Innerst, Alex Katz, Anselm Kiefer, Louise Lawler, Annette Lemieux, Robert Longo, Allan McCollum, Malcolm Morley, Vik Muniz, Takashi Murakami, Shirin Neshat, Luigi Ontani, Mimmo Paladino, Richard Prince, Thomas Ruff, David Salle, Salvo, Mario Schifano, Julian Schnabel, Andres Serrano, Cindy Sherman, Kiki Smith, Haim Steinbach, Philip Taaffe, Wolfgang Tillmans, Franco Vaccari, Meg Webster, Chen Zhen.

In a chapter by chapter analysis, the critic and curator Richard Milazzo discusses in detail each of the artists’ contribution to the exhibition and their work in general. In the course of his analysis he argues that “art has been turned into a spectacle, not only by the auction houses, art fairs, commercial galleries, museums, collectors and corporate consortiums, but also by the critics, curators (myself included), and the media, in general, and, to a certain extent, by the artists themselves. Art, as a result, within this spectacle, has been turned into a mannequin.

“In Goya’s cartoon for the tapestry, The Straw Mannikin (1791-92), the figure is tossed into the air by the celebrants, four maidens, holding a blanket. The pretext is a rural and rustic celebration, not unlike this EXPO in Modena or the Venice Biennale, and the presumption is that the maidens will catch him when he falls. If we read this image allegorically, the basic reality is that the figure of the mannequin-as-art is being tossed (up, down, around) by all involved in the celebration, in the games or the spectacles of critique (this one included) and culture.” The author goes on to ask: “In defense of itself, has art, in fact, generated a meta-Spectacle, as it were, to counter the constructions or fabrications of history? In what manner has art formulated or conceptualized itself not so much to protect itself but to elude this fate, its destiny, as a mannequin of history? In the end, is the construction of a meta-Spectacle sufficient to combat the mannequinization of history, whether it is the history of art, critique or culture?”

The catalogue contains 188 color and 38 black and white reproductions, biographies of all the artists, and a checklist of all the works in the show.

 
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Skewed:
Ruminations on the Writings and Works of Peter Halley

Richard Milazzo
First edition deluxe hardback: November 2016.
With an Italian translation by Brunella Antomarini and Pietro Traversa.
224 pages, with a 3-colour gatefold jacket, a black and white photograph of the artist on the frontispiece
by Andy Warhol, 190 color and black and white illustrations and 12 full-color plate reproductions,
15.5 x 13.5 x 1.75 in. (39.3 x 34.3 x 4.4 cm.), printed, sewn, and bound in Modena, Italy.
Modena, Italy: Galleria Mazzoli Editore, 2016.

Peter Halley: New Paintings – Associations, Proximities, Conversions, Grids is the artist’s first exhibition at Galleria Mazzoli, Modena, November 12, 2016 - January 2017. For this exhibition of twelve new paintings, curated by Richard Milazzo, the curator has prepared a seminal new book, a unique critical document, entitled Skewed: Ruminations on the Writings and Works of Peter Halley.
The author-curator writes: “I have for the past several years been in the process of writing a monograph on Peter Halley’s work. A natural part of this process has been to examine and sometimes question the ideas and principles behind the work, both the paintings and the writings. This is especially important because Halley’s writings became one of the main lynchpins for understanding the art of the 1980s and early 1990s. Some of the ideas expressed in his essays would even forecast developments in art in the twenty-first century. During the last two decades of the twentieth century, Halley produced not only paradigm-shifting paintings, he theorized many of the concepts that went into the making of the art of his generation and beyond, which contributed specifically to the displacement of New-Expressionism in art and the rise of Neo-Conceptual, in general.
“It should be mentioned that the title of this book was inspired, rather ironically, by the only title of Halley’s paintings, Skewed, not included in the subtitle for the show: Peter Halley: New Paintings – Associations, Proximities, Conversions, Grids. In its reference to the title of the painting, it is purely descriptive, given that the paintings themselves are all skewed toward the more Minimal end of Halley’s aesthetic, both in terms of the limited number of colors and the limited number of conduits and cells used in the paintings. However, there is at least one other irony embedded here: instead of writing a catalogue essay about a specific group of paintings, I have chosen to write about writing, Halley’s writings, and, of course, about his art, oddly ‘encouraging’ his essays to proactively skew my text(s), in an attempt to balance somewhat the terms of the ‘exchange’, making whatever is simply discursive here more dialectical.
“Halley’s writings, like his paintings, shined brightly in the 1980s precisely because of their radical and experimental nature, and this cursory (hopefully not too microscopic) re-examination, conducted nearly thirty years later (in the case of certain of these essays), remains in the best spirit of observation and experimentation, a spirit that should animate not only science in general but the arts. If my texts are skewed, they are skewed only by Halley’s writings and paintings, that is, only insofar as they are the content of my observations and ruminations about them. For better and for worse, we are operating here in the dark, in a forest of free-range ideas, where mistakes and missteps (I am sure I am making my share of them) are not encouraged, but nor do they become the reason to suppress speculation, contradiction, unhampered dialogue.”
In addition to the intensive analysis of Peter Halley’s writings (abundantly excerpted in the author’s dialogical text), the book contains 190 color and black and white illustrations, 12 full-color plate reproductions of the artist’s paintings in the show, a comprehensive history of his exhibitions, a list of works, and a complete bibliography.