The Frick Collection in New York is currently hosting a site-specific installation by Swiss-born artist Nicolas Party, paying tribute to Rosalba Carriera, the renowned queen of pastels in the Rococo era.
Drawing inspiration from Carriera’s Portrait of a Man in Pilgrim’s Costume, Party has created three pastel portraits and mounted them on murals. The installation not only celebrates Rosalba’s artistry but also explores the material properties of pastels and the theatricality of the Rococo era.
On view through March 3, 2024, Nicolas Party and Rosalba Carriera is housed in the Italian Galleries of the museum’s temporary home, Frick Madison. The juxtaposition of the works set against ephemeral pastel murals explores the themes of concealment and disclosure. The installation serves as the centerpiece of the latest Diptych series, co-authored by Party and Xavier Salomon, the Deputy Director and Chief Curator of the Frick Collection.
This is not the first project Party has organized around Rosalba Carriera and the pastel medium. In a previous show called “Pastel” at the Flag Art Foundation, he showcased Rosalba’s Portrait of a Lady at Three-Quarter Length, among other pieces.
It was during this previous exhibition that Party met Salomon, and the two discovered a hidden secret in Rosalba’s artwork. They uncovered a tiny woodblock print of the magi, or the three kings, suggesting that Rosalba included these prints as lucky charms to protect her delicate pastel paintings during long-distance transportation. This discovery further deepened Party’s connection to Rosalba and her artistic legacy.
Featured Image: Nicolas Party, Drapery and Jean-Étienne Liotard, La sultane lisant. Installation view at the Frick. Source: Ocula