Ronnie Cutrone

22.03.2024 - 10.05.2024

In collaboration with Hedges Projects and Galerie Enrico Navarra, we are pleased to present a selection of works on canvas and paper by Ronnie Cutrone (American artist, 1948-2013).

Ronnie Cutrone’s career began at the Factory in 1965. After performing with the Velvet Underground band, produced by Andy Warhol, he became one of his closest collaborators. He worked alongside him on the launch of Interview magazine and on certain series such as the “Piss paintings”, for which Warhol asked him to take extra doses of vitamin B to improve the oxidation reactivity of his urine. He immortalized daily life at the Factory in a series of stereoscopic 3D color photographs, including images of Warhol at work and shots of his visitors, among whom Mick Jagger, Debbie Harry, Dennis Hopper and Paloma Picasso.

A key player in this era, he was a privileged witness to artistic movements ranging from punk to pop. It was in this context that Cutrone developed his own artistic practice and post-Pop imagery, featuring iconic characters such as Woody Woodpecker, Bart Simpson and Bugs Bunny. A true testimony to the creative effervescence of New York, his works were first exhibited at the Richard Feigen Gallery in 1969 and have been in important private and public collections since his success at Art Basel in 1982. Cutrone’s influence is rooted in figures such as Jimmy Smith, a second-floor thief and “action painter” banished from the Factory, who taught him spontaneity and immediacy, or in the humor and lifestyle of Picabia. In his work, he explores violence, accidents and the “rubbernecking response”, the automatic reaction of the viewer who watches crimes and accidents with curiosity. His love of music, comics, toys, street objects, emblems, signs and TV commercials is reflected in his art, which gives a prominent place to popular imagery.

Cutrone is fully aware of both his own impact and that of Christian iconography, which remains one of his preferred fields of study. His work reflects the struggle between good and evil, exploring emotions such as love, hate, faith and fear.

Cutrone’s work has regularly been exhibited alongside other leading figures of the 1980s, such as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Kenny Scharf and Andy Warhol. This exhibition, with a selection of ranks created between 1981 and 2005, offers an opportunity to fully immerse oneself in his universe.