GR gallery’s current exhibition, Incandescent Chromophilia, by Ron Agam and Marco Casentini perfectly encapsulates the spirit of spring. Vibrant, exhilarating hues seem to explode from reassuringly geometric shapes—a visual sampling of longer days and warmer temperatures, reminding us of what power positivity, hope, and faith yield in these uncertain times. The exhibition, curated by Alberto Pasini and Eva Zanardi, will feature 25 recent works by the two artists, engaging in a conversation about the infinite possibilities through which quadrilaterals—fixed on canvas through an exhilarating palette comparable to that of pop art—interact with one another. The show is not to be missed!
On view until May 28, 2017 at GR Gallery, 255 Bowery (btwn Houston & Stanton) New York, NY 10002.
About “Incandescent Chromophilia”
Incandescent Chromophilia aims to investigate the artistic output of two international, contemporary artists who not only share an affinity for geometry and kinetic shades, but also a deep connection with Italy, the country GR gallery hails from. Marco Casentini is Italian, however now works primarily in California. Conversely, Ron Agam is French-Israeli and based in New York, with a deep love and appreciation for Italy and its art. The artist’s constant bond with Europe is apparent; his modern interpretation of the French flag is displayed at the French Embassy in New York City—next to Michelagelo’s Cupid, and his selection of works at GR gallery can be considered as a love letter to Italy.
Following a long and successful career as a fine art photographer, R. Agam has created an impressive body of work embracing a dizzying array of techniques from lenticular, optical experiments to distilled, saturated color fields. While his most recent paintings are explorations range from being metamorphosis-related to imaginary interpretations of the square, Casentini’s “patchwork canvases” are of an entirely different nature. Working from a historical index of geometric and constructivist shapes, Casentini repeats an iconic combination of squares as if they are templates, creating similar patterns through various juxtapositions of colors and materials, and in doing so, challenging the so-often perceived uniqueness of painting.
The two artists’ appreciation for geometry, a conspicuous aversion to curved lines and an affinity for exhilaration-inducing hues is indisputable. However, while R. Agam’s work questions the visual perception of the painted image through mesmerizing, meditative compositions such that seen in Dynamic Metamorphosis and Ein Sof , nearly acting as a conduit between tangible and spiritual worlds, Casentini’s paintings seem to playfully obscure familiar landscapes and images on their surfaces, their details lost through hyper-pixelating rendering. This enthralling style can be seen especially in Giulia and Matteo on the Hollywood Boulevard and California Swimming Pool. Through their starkly different approaches, Ron Agam and Marco Casentini may appear as each other’s antithesis. However, upon further inspection, it becomes clear that both artists investigate the boundaries of painting with a similar visual effect: tenacious chromatic intensity.
Born in 1958, and raised between Paris and Rehovot, Israel, painter Ron Agam only took up the paintbrush later in life, following a long and successful career as a fine art photographer. Yet, the robustness and sheer prolificacy of his output since belies the charge that this newfound passion is anything but a calling. Since embracing his new medium a few short years ago, Agam’s creative energy has burst forth through a dizzying array of techniques and a brilliant spectrum of forms, in an ever-expanding constellation of individual works. From lenticular, optical experiments to distilled, saturated color-fields, Agam’s work has, canvas by canvas, explored the process of seeing, all the while keeping an eye on the prize of metaphysical meaning. On July 14, 2008, Ron Agam was made a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor by the government of France and his modern interpretation of the French flag is displayed at the French Embassy in New York City—next to Michelagelo’s Cupid.
Born in La Spezia in 1961, Casentini now divides his time between Los Angeles and Milan, where he teaches at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera. The paintings from his first period in Milan are recognized by their typical Lombardy coloring: sienna yellow, lush green, and other earth tones—the same colors that one sees even in the urban setting of Lombardy’s cities. In 1996, he began traveling throughout the United States, primarily in the west. The colors, and above all, the light, of these states have since yielded a lasting impact on his creativity, compelling him to abandon earthly colors and introduce new hues and atmospheres. Casentini was awarded the Pollock- Krasner Foundation Grant in 2005 for his outstanding artistic contributions, and his work will also be on view in a solo show at the Reggia di Caserta, SA (Italy) from April 30, 2017 and from July 29 – October 17, 2017 in a group show at the Museum of Art and History (MOAH) in Lancaster, CA.
GR gallery: Founded in the mid-seventies by Italian art critic Giovanni Granzotto in Sacile, Italy, Studio d’Arte GR has always specialized in Kinetic, Op, and Programmed Art. Its U.S. branch, GR gallery, continues its mission in North America.
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