Massimo De Carlo inaugurates the new season with the first solo exhibition in Italy by the American artist McArthur Binion, who returns to Italy after having taken part in the 2017 Venice Biennale.
American artist McArthur Binion was born in Mississippi in 1946 and is now based in Chicago. Throughout his fifty-year practice of assemblage painting, the artist has interwoven individual memories with historical recollection and his experience of America in the past, by layering paint and personal memorabilia onto large-scale canvases.
Ink:Work presents a new series of works made specifically for this exhibition, that revolve around the use of colour and ink, specifically secondary colours that the artist applies with paint stick. The works on show are a continuation of the artists’ DNA series, an exploration of the relationship between past and present. In each of these works the artist blends private documents, hand written pages of his old phone books (where names from the past such as ‘Mary Boone’ and ‘Basquiat’ evoke the 70s and 80s New York art scene) are covered with layers of painted coloured grids, that conceal and at the same time introduce the narration element of his practice. McArthur lived in NYC from 1973 until 1992, everything and everyone who revolved around his studio at the time is captured and framed in each painting.
The use of personal documents asserts the artist own existence and the layers of paint encompass the artist’s experience with authority and the art world in America. Talking about the series Binion stated that he was interested in “how to bring something into being: not to have it fabricated but to work in an applied way”.
McArthur Binion was born in Macon, Mississippi, in 1946. He currently lives and works in Chicago, Illinois. McArthur Binion’s work has been exhibited in prominent institutions such as the 57th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, VIVA ARTE VIVA, curated by Christine Macel; the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Texas; the University of Maryland University College Gallery; Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; Detroit Institute of Arts. His works are in renowned public collections such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; New Orleans Museum of Art, Louisiana; Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington, D.C.; Detroit Institute of Arts, Michigan; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Studio Museum in Harlem, New York.Photo by Roberto Marossi. Courtesy Massimo De Carlo, Milan/London/Hong Kong