FROM THE DESK: Marc Blumthal and Alexis Nutini

This November, pairs of NAPOLEON members will be exhibiting collaborative pieces they have generated in response to the Gertrude Stein poem, written in 1923, “If I Told Him: A Completed Portrait of Picasso,” at Traction Company, located in West Philadelphia for CITYWIDE.  In the coming months, we will be updating our blog with From the Desk postings to share work and ideas as they are evolving within the different pairings of NAPOLEON members.

FROM THE DESK:  Marc Blumthal and Alexis Nutini

Some behind the scenes views of Blumthal and Nutini’s upcoming collaborative work:

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At the heart of our work is a desire to graphically reproduce an external and internal portrait through print and photography that recognizes/refutes the grid of formal abstraction and Greenbergian truths.  Gertrude Stein’s “If I Told Him” is a reciprocal portrait of Picasso and we became interested in their respective portraits as monuments to adoration.  The project is rooted in a desire to combine imagery as dissected portraits that become as rhythmic and scattered as Stein’s poem.  Our approach to this project was to collaborate on a single work and make individual portraits referencing both our collaboration and one another.

We felt the thesis of this work, Napoleon’s project, and the CITYWIDE exhibition is really about two bodies, vessels, portraits, and so we felt that our collaborative work should be flanked by individual pieces of ours.  Alexis will be showing a colorful abstraction based off the rigid rhythm of the grid and I will be showing a photograph of a computer-generated image of a fictitious Stein-Picasso baby, Picasso Baby.

Join us at our opening reception to see the final outcome of this piece alongside other NAPOLEON members’ collaborative works, November 2nd, from 2-5pm and during Trolley Day, November 16th , from 2-5pm, for CITYWIDE!  Stay tuned for more updates in the coming weeks from other pairings of our members!

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