Artist and LVC Professor Michael Pittari “Re-Visioning the
Dr. Michael Pittari
recently displayed his work in a group exhibition, “Nature Satisfies By Its
Loveliness: Contemporary Landscape Paintings Celebrating the Hudson River
School” at Kenise Barnes Fine Art in Larchmont, N.Y. The four digital landscape
prints, which draw from the rich tradition of the Hudson River School, are both
a form of art-historical inquiry and an expansion of technology-based imagery.
prints are based on the repetition
and mirroring of specific 19th century American landscape paintings.
Those works were founded on strategies of surveying, mapping, and ordering the
wilderness, and display an idealized, determinist vision of civilization in the
making – a visually pleasing form of the political doctrine of Manifest Destiny.
Pittari’s manipulation of those images leads to the creation of strange new
forms that reinforce the messages of the source paintings from which his own
work arises. He chose the work of well-known artists from the Hudson River
School such as Thomas Cole and Frederic Church because the visual familiarity of
their landscapes gives viewers an opportunity to contemplate the implications of
the landscape as a cultural signifier. By exploiting the formal majesty of the
original landscape paintings, the prints re-vise the powerful optical gaze
inherent in American landscape painting of the 19th century.
many artists, Pittari uses art history as source material for his concepts and
images. In this case, the investigation of 19th century American landscape that
inspired his work served as the actual starting point for the digital prints.
While unique, Pittari’s prints participate in a long tradition of visual artists
appropriating the work and/or ideas of their predecessors as a way to comment on
art history itself.
Pittari, who has worked as an artist for 20 years, explained
the role of these prints, “In terms of media, the prints fall outside the realm
of conventional boundaries such as painting, photography, or printmaking,
although my approach utilizes aspects of these disciplines...The common thread
in my work has been the importance of intellectual discourse, often originating
in texts outside the field of art (for example, literature or philosophy). My
work’s formal properties are almost always balanced by conceptual
investigation.”ork’s formal properties are almost always balanced by conceptual by conceptual
More images of his work can be found
on his website:
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