Art: Doing History as Light Opera

In New York, the overblown parodies of Italy's Sandro Chia

At 37, Sandro Chia, whose show of paintings and bronzes opened last week at the Leo Castelli gallery in New York's SoHo district, is the most promising of the artists who have emerged from Italy in the past few years, floating to New York City like putti on roseate, gaseous clouds of hype. Because they share the same initial and transplanted nationality, Chia, Enzo Cucchi, 32, and Francesco Clemente, 31, tend to be bracketed together as the "three Cs." In fact they are very different painters. Chia's light-operatic gifts have little in...

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