Scattered Rhymes will feature four monumental paintings by the American-born, New York-based artist, Doug Argue, whose body of striking abstract and figurative work encompasses a diversity of mediums and formats that spans a thirty-year career.
These site-specific works draw on the great Venetian Masters, such as Titian and Tintoretto, as well as from the architecture and landscape of Venice. The city’s canals, narrow calles, and particular red brickwork are all manifested here in Argue’s aesthetic preoccupations with the passage of time, light, and movement, and how the past informs the present.
Argue’s lyrical paintings feature gestural swaths of color and geometric and biomorphic forms swept over expansive surfaces. Integral to the artist’s unique vocabulary of shapes are the stenciled letters scattered across these compositions, culled from fragmented literary passages that range from Moby-Dick to sonnets by thirteenth-century poet Petrarch—a reminder that there is no still moment in both history and time.
Doug Argue has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions including at the Richard Heller Gallery, Santa Monica; and in New York, Edelman Arts and Haunch of Venison. Most recently, two of his paintings were commissioned for the lobby of One World Trade Center in Manhattan. His work is held in the collections of major public, private, and corporate collections including the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Walker Art Center, Weisman Art Museum. Argue has also been the recipient of multiple awards including a Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant (1995) and the Rome Prize (1977).
The exhibition is accompanied by a lavishly illustrated catalogue that features these works along with essays by scholars Mary E. Frank and Dejan Lukić.
Scattered Rhymes marks the debut of Save Venice, Inc. as an advocate of contemporary art. An American organization dedicated, for nearly fifty years, to the preservation of Venice’s artistic and architectural heritage, Save Venice’s decision to sponsor an artist in a satellite Biennale show reflects the Foundation’s commitment to Venice as a living city of art. Their new venue in the Palazzo will include the recently established Rosand Library and Study Center, housing the library of the late Save Venice board member and preeminent art historian, David Rosand.
- Doug Argue. Time and Time Again, oil on canvas, 89 x 134.5 inch; Courtesy of the artist