Luke Diiorio: nine paintings

28 April - 3 June 2017 Main Space

'I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms.’

 - Henry David Thoreau


Pippy Houldsworth Gallery is delighted to present Luke Diiorio’s second solo exhibition with the gallery from 28 April to 3 June 2017. The exhibition comprises a new series of paintings which reduce the physical folds which characterised his earlier paintings to flat bands of canvas.


Diiorio shifts emphasis from the performative act of folding, as manifested by his earlier work, to instead focus on the canvas as a unique surface. Where paintings were once composed of folds of varying size and thickness, the artist has homogenised the bands of fabric in this new series in order to focus our attention on their effects as a compiled structure. For instance, subtle and diffused variations in tone, achieved by mixing beeswax into the pigment, become drastically heightened.


Like Kenneth Noland’s use of horizontal stripes and concentric rings, Diiorio asserts the presence of colour. However, whilst Noland sought to integrate colour as closely as possible with the canvas, Diiorio instead plays with the visual weight achieved through saturating it with colour and physically breaking up the picture plane. Despite their flatness, the bands, coloured or empty, become a receptacle for volume, particularly when stacked on top of one another like building blocks. Displayed sequentially, this change in weight creates a rhythm between the works as one moves around the gallery space. Nevertheless, Diiorio draws our attention back to the physicality of the canvas by demarcating it with distinct bands, toying with the interplay between surface and pictorial space.


Luke Diiorio (b. 1983) is a US artist whose minimal, folded compositions play with notions of visibility and materiality. Diiorio was born in Philadelphia and now lives and works in New York. He received an MA from the Royal College of Art, London in 2013. Recent exhibitions include solo presentations at Pippy Houldsworth Gallery, London and Anat Ebgi, Los Angeles. Recent group shows include those at Super Dakota, Brussels and Kinman Gallery, London. His work has been profiled in Interview Magazine; Art in America; Wall Street Journal; This is Tomorrow and The New York Times. Pippy Houldsworth Gallery presented a solo booth of Diiorio's work in the Discoveries sector at Art Basel Hong Kong in 2016. A profile written by leading writer Alex Bacon will be published by The Brooklyn Rail to coincide with the exhibition.