The Painter Alvaro Barrington on the Art He 'Steals' From

Farah Nayeri, The New York Times, June 26, 2019

LONDON — On a drizzly June morning, the artist Alvaro Barrington led visitors around his new London exhibition. There was only one work by him in the entire gallery.


“Artists I Steal From” at Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac in Mayfair is a selection of paintings, drawings, sculptures and photographs by 49 artists who have influenced Mr. Barrington. The New York-based painter incorporates textiles, stitching and sewing in his work. His lone piece in the show, “Unc You the Plug” (2019), is a painting on burlap of a square-shaped head stitched with yarn.


The artists he “steals” from include Abstract Expressionists (Willem de Kooning, Cy Twombly) and masters of color (Robert Ryman, Howard Hodgkin), African-American painters (Henry Taylor, Jacob Lawrence) and female pioneers (Louise Bourgeois, Agnes Martin). The show, which runs through Aug. 9, is spread across two levels of Ropac’s London headquarters, a grand Mayfair mansion that once housed a bishop. On the upper level are stacks of art books Mr. Barrington owns.

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