Monochorme Painting, 1989
The fourteen paintings by Stephen Prina (1954, Galesburg, IL) hanging in three rooms on the first floor, composed a single installation called Monochrome Painting. Each canvas was covered with the same dark green industrial acrylic pigment. It was applied, according to the artist’s instructions, by a paint and bodywork shop. As a result, the only things that distinguished these paintings from one another were their sizes and their captions, which indicated the source work. Monochrome Painting was in fact conceived as a sort of anthology of monochrome painting, or even as a pilgrimage through its history. Each painting corresponds to the dimensions of an existing monochrome by artists ranging from Kazimir Malevich to Blinky Palermo, from Yves Klein to Gerhard Richter. Prina’s work consists of fourteen numbered stations, like the Catholic Stations of the Cross. The green tone was selected to match the color of reproductions found in an Ad Reinhardt catalogue, whose black paintings are notorious for resisting all attempts at reproduction.