"Theory for Gallerygoers"
by Jed Perl
The New Republic
March 20, 2000
"In each of Federico's canvases there is a many-sided, single-colored geometric form, set on a ground of another, contrasting color. Federico is in his fifties, and in his work he still registers the impact of the minimalist Tony Smith, with whom he studied at Hunter College in the 1960s.
"Federico's pictures, with their heraldic shapes wrought from lots of odd angles, are a witty footnote to a tradition of stripped-down abstract invention of which Ellsworth Kelly is the current leading figure. Federico's images suggest designs for bizarrely over-elaborated ritual knives or axes. In Celestine V, the form that practically fills the canvas, with seventeen sides, is a jagged up-front enigma, a green outburst on a blue ground. Other canvases are less agressive -- such as Barnabas, a nine-sided shape in rosy pink with three irregular "limbs" that suggest a schematic impression of a dancing figure. Federico's paint surfaces are impassive, probably too impassive: the pigment lacks weight. But his absorption in formal games has a fantastical undercurrent. This is the work of an intriguingly excitable cool cat."