PAINTINGS FROM THE OLD WORLD
On view in the gallery is a set of six handmade shirts that hang directly from pegs on the wall. Gianni Politi produced each shirt with fragments of painted canvas that had accumulated on the floor of his studio. Carefully selecting each fragment for its color and texture, Politi sent his materials to a tailor, who sewed them into a series of classic men's dress shirts. The raw, naturally colored linen of each garment appears to be soaked through with brightly saturated colors, and hung at their collars, the shirts fold over themselves to create unexpectedly layered compositions.
To make these shirts, Politi engaged a working method similar to that which he uses to make his more traditional paintings. In earlier bodies of work, Politi affixed fragments of canvas from his studio floor on to the surface of his paintings, occluding sections of his compositions in order to construct jarring contrasts in color, form, and depth. In choosing to fabricate unique garments for exhibition, in lieu of a suite of paintings, Politi's presentation eschews traditional techniques in favor of works that engage the interaction between aesthetics and function. Conceived in part as portraits without subjects, Politi's shirts reflect simultaneously on the limits of painting and the beauty of a well-made shirt.