Vincent Desiderio: Paintings 1975-2005
Edited by Todd Bradway. Essays by Mia Fineman, Barry Schwabsky and Lawrence Weschler. Interview by Donald Kuspit.
The distinguished art critic Donald Kuspit reserved a chapter of his book, The Rebirth of Painting in the Late Twentieth Century, for Vincent Desiderio, who, he says, “pictures privacy, with great sensibility and masterful craft” and “Old Master brilliance.” This significant monograph, the first on the artist, will gain him the praise and audience his startling accomplishments and empathy deserve, as well as raise him to the top rank of contemporary painters, alongside Mark Tansey, Eric Fischl, John Currin and Gerhard Richter. More than 100 of Desiderio's works, some of them enormous canvases and triptychs, are faithfully reproduced here, and, thanks in part to five gatefolds their painstaking detail and sweeps of emotion can be truly appreciated. Desiderio's repeated themes and motifs, appearing in often perplexing narratives of great psychological complexity, strike at the intellect and the heart: art history (often manifested in piles of books open to paintings), human intimacy, heroic behavior and, perhaps most viscerally, the plight of the artist's handicapped son, Sam. Rounding out the volume are many works on paper and excerpts from the artist's sketchbooks, an interview by Donald Kuspit, and essays by Lawrence Weschler, Barry Schwabsky and Mia Fineman. Most of all, in Desiderio's highly original works, the viewer will rediscover painting's ability to both astonish and move.