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Carl Palazzolo: New Paintings    Apr 27 - Jun 8, 2013

Dache
Carl Palazzolo
Dache, 2012
 
Opera (for J.S.)
Carl Palazzolo
Opera (for J.S.), 2012
 
 
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Opening reception Thursday, May 2, 6—8 pm

Lennon, Weinberg is pleased to present its sixth solo exhibition of Carl Palazzolo’s work. Aesop is the earliest of the paintings in this exhibition, and is the most closely related to the prior cycle of work titled Traces of Absence that was presented in his exhibition at Texas Gallery in Houston several years ago. Each painting in that series featured an object that served to anchor a layered composition of subtly modulated colored fields, freehand brushstrokes and a scatter of rose petals and numbers across the surface.
The petals in Aesop are paired with numbers that, like the yardstick, advance from one to thirty-six, and are a readily legible metaphor for the passage of our fleeting measure of time. Palazzolo’s paintings develop slowly as he builds and refines the layers, and this painting was still on the easel in the spring of 2011 when he learned that his close friend of forty years, painter Stephen Mueller, had been diagnosed with cancer.
Palazzolo has described the central themes of his work as memory and loss, impermanence and an undercurrent of longing and desire; the progression of Mueller’s illness made his sense of these feelings all the more immediate. Stephen Mueller died in September 2011, and the rest of the paintings in this exhibition are a particularly specific and personal expression of homage, appreciation and love from one friend, and painter, towards another.
The paintings in the series Tears of Things are painted on the canvas drop cloths from Mueller’s studio that bear the traces of his materials and process. In these paintings, Palazzolo exchanged the symbolic objects of the prior work for elements that quote from Mueller’s own paintings. He stretched sections of the drop cloths, added layers of color, tinted rose petals and numbers, and introduced hard-edged shapes in graduated colors that echo Mueller’s vocabulary of rounded forms. The Tears of Things series is as eloquent a statement of the underlying themes in Palazzolo’s work as he has ever produced.
The nine small paintings that comprise A Suite of Fragrances for Stephen were painted concurrently with the Tears of Things. Each depicts the bottle of a particular brand of fragrance, each representing a memory of where it was purchased and why it was chosen, when it was worn and with whom it was shared.
In earlier cycles of work, Palazzolo had deconstructed a particular painting by John Singer Sargent, The Daughters of Edward Boit, and subsequently explored imagery from classic Italian films of the 1960s. His last show here in 2006 introduced some of the elements present in the current work. All of these paintings are personal in one way or another, but are rife with references that go beyond that aspect and demonstrate his intelligence and wit as well as a stance that values sincerity over irony.

Carl Palazzolo studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and Tufts University. His work was included in the 1975 Whitney Biennial. Lennon, Weinberg represents Carl Palazzolo in New York and has presented six solo exhibitions of his paintings and watercolors since 1988. He has also had solo shows at Texas Gallery in Houston; Rebecca Ibel Gallery in Columbus, Ohio; Robert Bowman Ltd in London; Stephen Wirtz Gallery in San Francisco; Marguerite Oestreicher Fine Arts in New Orleans and Thomas Babeor in La Jolla, California. In her role as curator, Joan Sonnabend of Obelisk Gallery in Boston, an early and long time supporter of Palazzolo’s work, acquired many works for the collections of the international Sonesta Hotels. His work is represented in numerous public and private collections.
Palazzolo has taught at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the University of New Orleans, Massachusetts College of Art, the School of Visual Arts and Syracuse University. He has received grants and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, Massachusetts Council on the Arts, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston and the Peter Reed Foundation.
In conjunction with the 2013 Spoleto Festival USA, the Gibbes Museum in Charleston, South Carolina, will present The Spoleto Watercolors of Stephen Mueller and Carl Palazzolo from the collection of David and Carol Rawle. The exhibition will be on view from May 24 to September 15, 2013.
Palazzolo lives and works in Houston, Texas and Robinhood, Maine.

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