Julio Galán and Daniel Lezama
in the Pellizzi Family Collections

February 21, 2016 – January 8, 2017


Part I of 3 exhibitions from the Francesco Pellizzi family collection,
highlighting the work of two iconic Mexican painters.

The exhibition is drawn from the collections of members of the Pellizzi family, and was collected by Francesco Pellizzi, who is a renowned Italian anthropologist and art critic. Initially, his collecting practice focused on tribal art and artifacts, then, as he started collecting works by emerging contemporary artists, he was especially drawn to the so-called ‘new image’ (or 'Neo-Expressionist') artists of the 1980s, whose work referenced mysticism, mythology, and history. These works also reflect close personal ties of Pellizzi to the New York City art scene of the last decades of the past century, when he naturally connected and collaborated with some of the most distinguished artists to emerge in that period.

After seeing some of the young artist's painting in Mexico, Pellizzi learned through Andy Warhol, in 1986, that Julio Galán (Mexico, 1959-2006) had moved to New York, and the collector became fast friends with the artist, soon introducing him to the gallerist Annina Nosei. Galán’s cathartic paintings are curious amalgams, referencing Surrealism and post-modern collage, universalizing autobiographical themes such as childhood memories, longing, and guilt, while reflecting Catholic and pre-Columbian iconography and Mexican folklore.

While Galán interiorized his journey of personal exploration and expression, Daniel Lezama (b. Mexico,1968), belonging to a newer generation of Neo-Mexicanists, re-appropriates the stereotypes of Mexico’s cultural and historical icons by turning them on their mythical heads. In the tradition of the great muralists, Lezama’s large format epic canvases and smaller studies adopt a sort of meta-realism, theatrically employing a classical painting style laden with provocative symbolism, often with iconoclastic connotations.

Part II, opening in September of 2016, will feature Francesco Clemente, and Part III, opening in May of 2017, presents George Condo and Chuck Connelly. Throughout the work of the five artists presented in this long-running exhibition, we see a deliberate pictorial “alienation,” an enigmatic and unsettling thread.

The exhibition is held on the 5th floor. A public opening reception will be held Sunday, February 21, from 12PM to 4PM.

Press Release

(1) Julio Galán, El que se va se viene, 1988
(2) Daniel Lezama, Alexiara en el Taller, 1999
(3) Julio Galán, Amaranta can Sangre y Limon, 1987
(4) Daniel Lezama, Backseat, 2002
(5) Julio Galán, Thirty Three (Paisaje con agujeros), 1991
(6) Julio Galán, Amaranta can Sangre y Limon, 1988
(7) Daniel Lezama, Estudio de desnudo con cuadro (en espejo), 1999