Richard 
Pasquarelli “

Freedom” at Salomon 
Contemporary

The images offer a searing critique of the emotionally empty individuals whose limitless appetites have tipped the nation into the realm of a classic Christian deadly sin, namely greed.

poster for Richard Pasquarelli

Richard Pasquarelli "Freedom"

at Salomon Contemporary
in the Chelsea 26th area
This event has ended - (2011-04-07 - 2011-05-07)

In Reviews by Mary Hrbacek 2011-04-19 print






Richard 
Pasquarelli 'New Hope Alley' (2010–2011) Oil on linen, 78 x 103 in.

Richard Pasquarelli employs oil on linen to create smooth, seductive surfaces in powerful new works that explore current trends in contemporary American culture. His provocative pictures, comprised of puzzle-like shapes executed in a range of tones, reveal a disquieting narrative that comments on the theme of America’s growing ethos of over-consumption, waste and greed. The paintings ask metaphysical questions about the wisdom of jeopardizing the lives of soldiers on behalf of a society devoid of any sense of proportion or restraint.

In the solemn work entitled “Arlington Cemetery,” the artist questions the meaning of a self-indulgent life followed by a useless death. The painting, a poignant scene of receding headstones standing forgotten and forlorn in a field of snow, is a reminder of the high cost of our multiple, oil-fueled wars. The crosses carved in the monuments allude to the Christian belief in resurrection and life-everlasting.






Richard 
Pasquarelli 'Fat III (Child)' (2010–2011) Oil on linen, 18 x 27 in.
His satirical “Fat” paintings take a close look at the rolls of fat on the midsections of a man, a woman and a child. The images offer a searing critique of the emotionally empty individuals whose limitless appetites have tipped the nation into the realm of a classic Christian deadly sin, namely greed. The artist investigates the definition of freedom, with a caring reminder that “freedom” and “license” or excess, share the same continuum. These excesses are universal, but they are more exaggerated than ever in modern American life.

Richard 
Pasquarelli 'Yard' (2010–2011) Oil on linen, 18 x 35 in.
Another theme Pasquarelli probes is the ever-increasing trend of Americans to own brand new cars. His visually striking painting of a pile of junked cars set beneath a cloudless blue sky is a testimony to blatant waste. The show’s centerpiece, the painting “New Hope Alley,” portrays a cast-off American flag, tossed out in a back alley along with half-used items and a forlorn-looking nude mannequin. The picture mourns the demise of the nation’s pride and honor as signaled by the presence of our flag, which is evolving into a symbol of out-dated abandoned ideals.

Pasquarelli’s seamless works evoke feelings of sadness and futility. There is remorse and regret for the apparent inability or unwillingness of society to turn the tide back to true values. Although the “Fat” paintings are done with harmonious tones and compelling abstracted shapes, their underlying content is as grotesque as the earthy beer-guzzling peasants found in 16th century Dutch genre paintings.

Pasquarelli’s investigations of the themes of our demise express sadness and concern for the unbalanced society our national bounty has spawned. His stirring, thought-provoking images serve to awaken viewers to a conscious reflection on disturbing issues that we find so easy to avoid.

Mary Hrbacek

Mary Hrbacek. Mary Hrbacek has been writing about art in New York City since the late nineties. She has had more than one hundred reviews published in print in The New York Art World, and has written for NY Arts magazine. Her Commentary spans a broad spectrum of art, from the contemporary cutting-edge to the Old Masters. She has covered exhibitions at the Metropolitan Museum, the Whitney and the Museum of Modern Art, as well as the Armory Show, the Affordable Art Fair, and two consecutive Venice Biennials. After a trip in 2002 to China, Hrbacek wrote a special essay report on the cities of Beijing, Chongching and on art in Shanghai. Hrbacek is an artist who maintains a studio in Harlem. Website » See other writings

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