I have to say that I don’t normally respond well to paintings in which representational imagery has been “pushed” stylistically to the point where it borders on being non-representational. Contemporary artists often lose me at that juncture. There seems to be a point where it becomes boring for me, and I seldom follow artists who work in that direction.
Marcon Sassone’s work, however, grabbed my attention and appealed to me right off, even though it fits that description. Sassone’s brusque brushstrokes threaten to break up the representational image, as if it were on the verge of dissolution, but he holds back just enough, and includes enough elements of visual interest in his paintings, that they work both as representations of real scenes and severe abstractions from them (all art being “abstract” in the strict sense of that word).
His urban landscapes, in particular, have a feeling of vibration and almost random energy, within which they still form palpable images of real places.
Sassone was born in Tuscany, Italy, studied at the Instituto Galilei and later with Silvio Loffredo, a professor of art at the Academia i Florence.
He later emigrated to California, though a number of his paintings are from a series of views of Venice. He currently works in Toronto and Florence, and exhibits in the U.S. and Europe.
There is currently an Exhibition of his work at the Odon Wagner Gallery in Toronto, that features a number of his views of that city. It runs from April 4 to April 26, 2008.
The images on the Wagner Gallery site are somewhat larger than those on Sassone’s own site, giving you a better feeling for the texture and surface character of his work.
[Link via Art Knowledge News]
Exhibit at Odon Wagner Gallery (to April 26, 2008)
5 Replies to “Marco Sassone”
Charley, your first two paragraphs are a particualrly eloquent and succinct articulation of how many of us who ARE representational or more traditional artists react to an emphasis on the expressive or abstract. If the work I’m looking at is not faithfully realistic or bounded by rules of perspective and optics, what am I being shown and why? What has the artist done and where is he or she leading me?
In Sassone’s case there is a nervous energy in the handwriting of his brush strokes not unrelated to what van Gogh explored. With other artists, like Wolf Kahn for example, it’s all in the luxuriant exploration of color.
Art for art’s sake – if we’re going off the beaten path, where are we at the journey’s end? With some artists the diversion is well worth the trip. With others we simply want to get back to the beaten path.
I think aside from the technicality employed by the artist, it is useful to point out that Marco Sassoneâ€™s lineage goes back to the Expressionist school. He studied at the academy in Florence, Italy, with a pupil of Oskar Kokoschka, the great Austrian Expressionist. In the exhibition catalogue for the Toronto show, Jonathan Goodman, who has written for Art in America, wrote something that relates well to this issue: â€œSassoneâ€™s audience approaches his work knowing that the paintings are in dialogue with a tradition going back to the early twentieth century. His expressionism escapes the epithet of anachronistic, however, by being so sharply lived. While his works are not overly emotional, they gain success because they relate to a complete life of the imagination, in which feeling and intellect combine.â€
Thanks, Daniel. I agree about the comparison to van Gogh’s brushstrokes, there’s a similar feeling of motion within the patterns of color that make up the representational image.
Thanks for the additional insight into Sassone, Sarah. I hadn’t gone that far into his background.
innanzi tutto Ti faccio i miei complimenti. La Tua pittura per molti aspetti mi ricorda quella Sovietica
degli anni 70,ma molto di piu’ mi ritorna in mente
quella di Lucien Froid anche se come tematica diversa. Toronto Ti sta molto stretta,forse e’ provinciale. A New York che e’ il centro del Mondo dell’Arte avresti certamente maggior successo
Ti auguro buona fortuna Con Emilia al fianco sono convinto aprirai altre porte
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