The non-profit Save Venice Inc. presents Scattered Rhymes, an exhibition of four monumental paintings by Doug Argue
that is being held in conjunction with the 2015 Venice Biennale. The American-born, New York-based artist is showing his works in the magazzino of the Palazzo Contarini dal Zaffo, a fifteenth century palazzo on the Grand Canal, just steps away from the Accademia Gallery. The title of the exhibit pays homage to Rime Sparse, the collection of sonnets by the thirteenth-century Italian poet Petrarch.
These site-specific works were in part inspired by Titian and Tintoretto, two master painters of Renaissance Venice. Argues paintings capture the effect of the citys canals, narrow streets, and particular red brickwork at the same time that they continue his ongoing efforts to suggest the passage of time, light, motion, and how the past informs the present.
Argues lyrical paintings feature gestural swaths of color and geometric and biomorphic forms swept over expansive surfaces. Stenciled letters, scattered across the surface of the works, create a textual foreground that fascinates and confounds. Culled from fragmented literary passages that range from Moby-Dick to the works of Vasari and Petrarch, the letters are a reminder that there is no still moment in history or time.
Over the course of a thirty-year career Doug Argue has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions. Most recently, two of his paintings were commissioned for the lobby of One World Trade Center in Manhattan. His works are held in the collections of major public, private, and corporate collections including the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Walker Art Center, and the Weisman Art Museum. Argue has received multiple awards including a Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant (1995) and the Rome Prize (1997).
The exhibition is accompanied by a lavishly illustrated catalogue that features the site specific 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. A non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of Venices artistic and architectural heritage, Save Venices decision to sponsor an artist in a satellite Biennale exhibit reflects a commitment to Venice as a living city of art. Save Venices new Italian headquarters, are in the Palazzo Contarini dal Zaffo, which will present Doug Argues exhibition and the recently established Rosand Library and Study Center. Save Venices Italian headquarters will house the library of the late Save Venice board member and preeminent art historian, David Rosand.