Synaptic connections and associative bonds between seemingly disparate subjects also preoccupies the work of the late Mark Lombardi (1951 – 2000) currently on view in “Index - Mark Lombardi at Pierogi” at Pierogi Gallery (177 N. 9th St.) through April 3rd. The show presents a number of the diagrammatic drawings for which Lombardi is most remembered, but additionally offers a rare glimpse at the abstract paintings that the artist made prior to his move to a more Conceptual based form.
Lombardi rose to prominence in the late 90’s with seminal Conceptual drawings that charted the links between many of the worlds leading power figures and their accomplices. Composed of a complex system of arcing lines, these graphic networks on neutral paper end up resembling dandelion seed heads, solar systems and the human brain itself. The drawings are peppered with figureheads such as the Pope, Bill Clinton and Saddam Hussein. One of Lombardi’s prophetic drawings posited then Texas Governor, George W. Bush next to the as yet unheard of Osama bin Laden. Not at all speculative or investigatory, these graphs were simply the pictorial reduction of research compiled by the artist from previously published sources. His method of distilling and disseminating information in this way had a particularly illuminating effect, so much so that just after the 9-11 terrorist attacks, the FBI requested permission from the Whitney Museum to examine his drawing “BCCI, ICIC & FAB” then a part of their collection.
Tragically, the artist committed suicide in 2000, (though some suspect malfeasance as a result of his work). Perhaps we will never know. But Pierogi, the single largest repository of his remaining works, is a great place to examine the evidence for yourself.