Art History

The initial impetus for this series was the exploration of color, sampled from historical paintings of particular visual and conceptual interest to me. The color schemes of the source paintings were then reinterpreted into geometric abstractions that utilized my own existing vocabulary as an artist. In the process of creating the first few prints I developed an interest in capturing some essential element of each source painting –perhaps the compositional structure, tone, or subject matter – that I have tried to translate into the prints. Working directly with the source paintings – isolating, fragmenting, repeating, veiling, and stretching key passages – allows me to feel closer to the original works, as a painter trying to make visible my desire towards the very paintings that my prints deconstruct. As such I hope the prints move beyond the didactic to become tributes of sorts. But in appropriating and transforming works from art history, the series also serves as an investigation into issues of originality and multiplicity. Thus the prints can be read as critiques of reproduction, commodity and display, the vehicles through which much of our aesthetic experience is filtered.

Michael Pittari
March 2009

Art History Statement