Arturo Di Stefano’s latest body of work Lasting (a durable piece of cloth - nothing if not a succinct description of a painting, or Painting per se) follows on from his last exhibition at Purdy Hicks Gallery, Pentimenti, in that several interrelated, intertwining themes are explored that have been a constant in his work from the very beginning and which was intimated in the title of his first show in London called Palls, Shrouds, Sudaria.
Di Stefano writes,
That is to say, the constant iteration of the act of painting as a basis of the ostensible meaning of the painting itself (assuming that any painting has meaning - one thinks of Samuel Beckett’s less than enthusiastic disclaimer about his own work ‘What, it has to have MEANING?’).
There are the constant reappraisals of subject matter that appear regularly, which, over the course of time Di Stefano has made his own - arcades, cloths (see above), mythological figures, usually women, that are emblems of pictorial probity and prophesy. In addition there is the continuation of his series of London scenes, in this instance the empty interior of St. Paul’s when its doors were closed during the Occupy movement. And then there is the visiting and revisiting in his work of locations, usually abroad, where people of one kind or another close to his heart once lived, to paint their places of domicile as celebratory acts of remembrance. There is the ongoing series of studio scenes of paintings within paintings, or other works in which thematic sources of light are included that allude to their companion pieces in order to create a tacit form of pictorial conversation, where nothing is made explicit but where ‘meaning’ is present in the sense that Beckett, as mentioned earlier, intended - elusive, not finite, without a final destination of terminal meaning. And as for the Doors, Corridors, Windows and Nocturnes they’re another story altogether.