Antonietta Grassi has been committed to the practice of abstract painting for most of her career. Her paintings, which at first appear as hard-edged geometric abstractions, are composed of multi-layered, painted surfaces where the touch of the hand is paramount. Grassi paints layered, intuitively derived forms that are intersected by fine, thread-like lines—creating works where textile, architecture, and painting's twentieth century history collide. Through her nuanced and layered palette, she explores color and light to create perceptual spaces that are drawn from memory and imagination. Grassi's work is simultaneously mathematical and painterly, reflecting a process-driven approach that belies the organized compositions of the geometric forms prevalent in the works.
Grassi’s work has been featured in solo and group exhibitions at museums and galleries in Canada, the United States, and in Europe, including Muséé National des Beaux-Arts du Quebec; Museo Civico di Molise in Casacalende, Italy; Kunstwerk Calshutte in Budelsdorf, Germany; the Boston Center for the Arts, Trestle Gallery in New York; Manifest Gallery in Cincinnati, Ohio; the Bruce Lurie Gallery in Los Angeles; the McClure Gallery, Lilian Rodriguez, the Leonard and Bina Ellen Art Gallery and the Maison de la Culture Frontenac in Montreal. Her work is in numerous private, corporate, and public collections including the Musée National des Beaux-arts du Québec.
I paint distorted geometric forms in a nuanced and layered color palette as a way to explore color, shape and light and how they inform our notions of space and memory. Perhaps no memory being stronger than that associated with one's childhood home, my paintings reflect an emotional space that has been shaped by these memories and the passage of time. Having lost both of my parents within a short time frame, I was confronted with the task of emptying my childhood home of its possessions. The psychological and physical impact of facing this process led me to explore fragments of deconstructed and nonsensical space through hollowed cubes, skewed geometric, translucent shapes, and threadlike lines that connect them all . What was once a home was transformed into a disembodied shell filled with a flurry of emotions, symbolizing acts of removing, dismantling, discarding, detaching, remembering, and forgetting. My work reflects how these memories of the past produce fleeting blueprints for structuring the present, and how a delicate stability is attained through the language and solidity of color, shape and light.
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