“I make paintings, works on paper, and art books to mediate thoughts about language, text, narrative, and translation. These various aspects of my art are perhaps most actively present in my Chromatic Alphabet paintings and works on paper. For these works, I’ve developed an extensive alphabet of phonetically cued ‘sound forms’ using basic colors and simple shapes in order to compose paintings featuring letters, words or expressions without necessarily appearing to feature anything of the sort. By and large, each Chromatic Alphabet painting 'says' the word indicated by its title. The painting featured in this exhibit, for example, ‘says’ the word ‘look,’ legible from upper left to lower right. So its title is Look. My aim with these Chromatic Alphabet works is not merely to paint words, but to engage viewers in a slow act of looking akin to reading. I can only hope that this allows viewers to ‘hear’ the paintings too, in some sense, so that I might speak to them through pictorially ciphered utterances. At the same time, I’m also happy if viewers just find the works pleasant to look at in their painted silence.”
Paul D’Agostino is an artist, writer, curator, translator and educator, as well as founding director of Centotto, a gallery once based in Brooklyn that now operates at-large. His artwork has been featured in a number of solo, two-person, and group shows in the US and abroad. His art and curatorial activities have been discussed in The New York Times, ARTNews, Art Review, Vice, Whitehot, The Huffington Post, Paper Magazine, The New Criterion, Two Coats of Paint, Hyperallergic, ArtFCity, Gothamist, Rough Cuts, The Conversation Project, and The Brooklyn Rail, among others. His artwork is held in numerous private and institutional collections, including that of New York Presbyterian Hospital.