"The City 9"

Oil on Canvas



"Carlo Maria Mariani is an avant-garde artist, but of a unique cast: he believes in classical beauty, beauty as an infinitely repeatable ideology which he has decided - with exquisite timing - to repeat, in order to give art the solid center of gravity it seems to have lost. Beauty is always radical, that is, it is the esthetic root of art. At the time of his return to beauty - well before the Transvanguardia movement - avant-garde art was indifferent to it..."

- Donald Kuspit, Idiosyncratic Identities: Artists at the End of the Avante-Garde

"(Mariani's) work is not merely pretty pictures; it also exerts a considerable appeal to the intellect through a set of references to Modern and Classical motifs and styles which interact in a variety of controlled significations."

- Thomas McEvilley, The Exile's Return: Toward a Redefinition of Painting for the Post-Modern Era

"On large scale, Carlo Maria Mariani creates enigmatic scenes of classical nudes juxtaposed with absurd details. His paintings are beautifully conceived...[he] situates his elegant Greco-Roman figures in ludicrous and disturbing circumstances...The artist thus reveals his 'hand' in painted artifice and once again startles us with the unforeseen."

- Mary Schneider Enriquez, Artnews

"In the 1960's, [Mariani's] art was influenced by both hyperrealism and conceptualism: a decade later, Mariani began quoting from masterworks of antiquity, a tendency that later evolved into his signature, exalted-eerie style. For the mood of Mariani's pictures can be as cool as their allegorical drama is high-pitched, sometimes exuding the hushed, airless
atmosphere of classic surrealism."

-Edward Gomez, Art & Antiques

"...Mariani conjures a sempiternal realm that exists parallel to mundane reality and which is accessible through art, reverie and the imagination."

- Gerard McCarthy, Art in America

"Communicating by means of a personal iconographic system steeped in mythology and classical ideals. Mariani fuses the past with the present in order to illuminate a sometimes unsettling, but always exhilarating future. He evokes the hushed serenity of antiquity and the cacophonous turbulence of modernism, which momentarily in the paintings at least, have reached tentative accord...Mariani's aim is not to reconstruct the ancient world, nor does he present a fragmentary view of it, in the form of romantic moss-covered ruins and the like...He embraces myth as a language which he finds best suited to express his most complex emotions...For Mariani, myth is an attitude and response to the world around him, rather than simply means to explicate or reiterate the lessons of antiquity."

- David Ebony, from the book, Carlo Maria Mariani