Gino de DominicisExhibition
Gino de Dominicis
Gino De Dominicis (b. 1947 in Ancona, Italy) is an enigmatic Roman artist whose life was shrouded in mystery. As a young man, he was fascinated with the “cosmos, constellations and planets, of space, sky and clouds.” He worked in all mediums, including painting, sculpture, film, and site-specific installations, until his death in 1998. Little known in the United States, De Dominicis’ work has been exhibited in important international exhibitions such as the Venice Biennale. In 2008-2009, P.S.1. Contemporary Art Center hosted his first American museum retrospective.
The present gold triptych Untitled (1992-1993) was exhibited for the first time at the 1993 Venice Biennale. This iconographic interpretation of heavens and the universe, also known as the “Triptych of the Planets,” was shown in complete darkness spot-lit from below. The large central panel, said to depict the solar system at the time of the creation of the universe, is flanked by two figures. According to Italo Tomassoni, while De Dominicis addressed the subject of cosmogony in many works, in this important triptych, “the theme takes on celebratory overtones in which the gold background—holiness, light, infinity and mystery—echoes the theocratic magnificence of Byzantine mosaics.”
The slightly earlier portrait Ombra blu (c. 1990) speaks to this kind of borrowed figurative vocabulary, which is more often than not intermingled with Sumerian iconography. In the present installation, the triptych and Ombra blu are accompanied by two Untitled drawings dating to the year of the Venice installation and also included in it. Both drawings evolved out of De Dominicis' continuous consideration and reworking of Leonardo da Vinci’s portraiture: the artist appears, with closed eyes, in the guise of da Vinci’s own painted self-portrait.