Paula Cooper Gallery is pleased to announce Innocenti, an exhibition of work by Beatrice Caracciolo. Caracciolo’s new body of work takes as its point of departure The Massacre of the Innocents, a painting on one of the most dramatic and powerful themes of Biblical iconography by the Italian painter Francesco Trevisani (1656–1746). The story recounts how, according to the Gospel of Matthew, King Herod ordered the massacre of all male children under two years of age in Bethlehem upon hearing of the birth of a future “King of the Jews.”
The theme, whose popularity over the centuries has been tied to eruptions of political violence against the innocent, underscores how, in the present day, children continue to be the powerless victims of political hubris— torn away from their families and sacrificed to fulfill the megalomaniacal whims of autocratic leaders around the world.
Caracciolo’s approach consists in distilling the complex baroque composition of the Trevisani painting—with its emphasis on turmoil and violence—into a number of dynamic elements (shapes, lines, volumes) upon which to build her own abstract language. These works are created by a combination of charcoal drawing, painting, staining and collage, in which painted fragments on paper are torn apart and reintroduced into the visual field in a constantly evolving process of destruction and rebuilding.
The exhibition will be on view from September 12 through October 17 at 521 West 21st Street. This is Beatrice Caracciolo’s fifth one-person exhibition with the gallery.
Beatrice Caracciolo (b. 1955, São Paulo, Brazil) is an Italian artist based in Paris. Recent one-person exhibitions include Créer en soi le dragon de feu at the Temple Collection in Beijing (2016); Attraversare Il Fuoco at Almine Rech Gallery in Paris (2013); … pour que passe enfin mon torrent d’anges at the Château de Haroué in Haroué, France (2012); Tumulti at the Académie de France à Rome, Villa Medici (2010); and Life Lines at the Savannah College of Art and Design, Georgia (2002). Caracciolo has participated in several group exhibitions including at Casa de Santa Maria, Cascais, Portugal (2017); Krinzinger Projekte, Vienna, Austria (2014); Waddesdon Manor, UK (2012); Ecole des Beaux-Arts de Paris, France (2012); the Festival dei Due Mondi Spoleto, Spoleto, Italy (2010 and 2008); and Weatherspoon Art Museum, University of North Carolina, Greensboro, NC (2002). Works by the artist are in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; and the Centre Pompidou, Paris.