Sandro Chia at Marc Straus

Sandro Chia, Looking At, 2017, oil on canvas, 39.37 x 39.37 inches (courtesy of Marc Straus Gallery)
Sandro Chia, Looking At, 2017, oil on canvas, 39.37 x 39.37 inches (courtesy of Marc Straus Gallery)

Jonathan Goodman reviews a recent exhibition of works by Sandro Chia at Marc Straus Gallery, New York.

Goodman writes: "It is hard to read Chia’s inclination for forthright feeling in an environment like ours—dominated by the market and mostly biased against a recognizable awareness of art history. In contrast, in a painting such as Looking At (2017), an image of a man gazing at himself in a large pool of water set on grass, the classical story of Narcissus is immediately referred to. Indeed, the work is an illustration of a mythic tale, but it can also be seen as a story for our time—a judgment of current life, obsessed as we are with ourselves. The shirt that the man wears is abstractly rendered, composed of a striped pattern that looks remarkably similar to a stylistic effect found in mid-career to late works by Jasper Johns. If a conscious decision by Chia, the picture is positioned very much within the trajectory of the history of contemporary art."