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Art review: Pietro Roccasalva at David Kordansky Gallery

February 23, 2012 |  4:30 pm

PR-12-003_webThe best part of Pietro Roccasalva’s U.S. solo debut at David Kordansky Gallery is the first piece one sees: a neon sign that reads “You never look at me from the place I see you.” The paraphrase from French philosopher Jacques Lacan is doubled and arranged in a Möbius strip, illustrating its own paradoxical message: The act of looking establishes a relationship between you and me that is constantly shuttling between our incommensurable points of view.

The rest of the show explores this idea in the context of art history. In the center of the room is a giant still life, including, among other things, a deflated hot air balloon, a bunch of grapes (delightfully made of purple balloons) and a wooden boat resembling a lute.

PR-12-021_webThe piece’s shifts in scale are fun — are they grapes or balloons? — but it feels a bit unfocused.

More intriguing are a suite of paintings and drawings depicting a waiter holding a citrus juicer on a tray. The images exhibit any number of classical drawing techniques, but it’s the reflections of a grand architectural space in the tiny silvery surface of the juicer—another art historical convention—that reveal a glimpse of the view from the place where the painting sees us.


More art reviews from the Los Angeles Times

-- Sharon Mizota

David Kordansky Gallery, 3143 S. La Cienega Blvd., Unit A, L.A., (310) 558-3030, through March 24. Closed Sundays and Mondays.

Photos, from top: Pietro Roccasalva's "You Never Look at Me From the Place I See You," 2012. Credit: From the artist and David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles. Photograph by Brian Forrest. Pietro Roccasalva's "Il Traviatore," 2011. Credit: From the artist and David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles. Photograph by Brian Forrest.