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Artscribe #18, 
July 1979
(Throbbing Gristle),

© ArtNet Worldwide 1997

Artscribe #44, pg. 22 (Young Wilds), 1995 A. Kaprow, Assemblage Enviroments & Happenings (New York, N.D.) p. 326, 1995 Castelli/Sonnabend Video tapes and Films, v.1 #1, 1974, 1995 Contemporary Art Southeast, vol II No.II, p. 21, 1995 Heavy Air, 1995

matthew antezzo 
at basilico 

by John Zinsser
Young turk Antezzo made a splash at 
Basilico last year with a show of deadpan-
dry black-and-white paintings that 
reproduced images from dusty 70s-era issues 
of Artforum magazine. Two typical subjects: 
a gallery installation of monochrome 
paintings by Marcia Hafif and an
empty-gallery conceptual installation by 
Michael Asher. Antezzo's renderings 
included the captions, making the sources 
manifestly clear. Irony didn't seem part 
of the program. (The mood of the Antezzos 
stands in direct opposition to the slick 
80s-era paintings of Tony Shafrazi artist 
Simon Linke, whose bravura Wayne Thiebaud-
like oils reproduced Artforum ad pages 
verbatim.) By contrast, Antezzo is getting 
at the genuine romantic rush of an artist 
experiencing art through the second-hand 
medium of magazines, after the fact. The 
gut feeling is the same as the teen-age 
thrills of poring over skateboarding and 
surfing magazines. Now, in his third New 
York show, Antezzo presents ten modestly-
scaled pencil and graphite drawings. 
Technically, the only remarkable thing 
about these works is their 
unremarkableness. They make their appeal 
through their shy, unassuming nature. In 
Artscribe<#18, July 1979, a photograph and 
caption are reproduced from the now-defunct 
cutting-edge British art magazine. As the 
caption states, it shows 'Throbbing 
Gristle' in concert. This outré punk-era 
event is seen indirectly. Standing figures 
in the foreground are backlit, silhouetted 
by the harsh glare of lights from the 
stage. It's a scene of a happening. But the 
only thing apparent is the lassitude of 
figures milling about. You can't even see 
the band. In Artscribe #44, p. 22, Antezzo 
reproduces a group portrait of the 'young 
wilds' neo-expressionist painters standing 
on a street corner. It's captioned 
'Mülheimer Freiheit 1983,' and it depicts
Georg Jiri Dokoupil, Peter Bömmels, Hans-
Peter Adamski, Gerhard Naschberger, Gerard 
Keuer and Walter Dahn. These glamorous 
macho paint-slingers are preserved right in 
their moment of supreme coolness. To an 
American, it all seems so European, so 
remote, so encoded with signifiers: 
Dokoupil's downward scowl and carefully-
chosen necktie, Dahn's Teddy Boy hairdo 
with prominent forelock. In Art in America, 
vol. 61 no 18, p. 54, Antezzo has chosen a 
picture of art book publisher Harry N. 
Abrams. The middle-aged executive sits 
relaxed on a modernist leather couch, 
laughing, surrounded by the accouterments 
of his success-books, manuscripts and art 
objects. Antezzo, who has also shown 
recently at Gian Enzo Sperone Gallery in 
Rome, is clearly onto something. It's an 
idea so simple in conception and execution 
that it must be good. It's something about 
the poignancy of everything.
26 Wooster St.
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