Locks Gallery is pleased to present the 11th solo exhibition of Philadelphia artist Neysa Grassi (b.1951) which will include a selection of recent works. Known for her meticulous and deeply rich multi-layered paintings, the examination and application of transition, memory and chromatic shifts is central to her practice. Often working on a singular painting for more than a year, Grassi’s endless dedication of applying countless layers of paint and sustained concentration is experienced in each work.
The emanating light and atmospheric quality yields a portrait of formless time–a moment recorded from an accumulation of historical memories and images buried and dissolving within a painting. The continuous exchange between presence and absence, and subtractive and additive process in her work, resembles the mysterious and shadowy reminiscences from her predecessors, from Vincent Van Gogh’s wheat field series and Gustave Courbet’s cave paintings to Leonardo da Vinci’s flood drawings and the more contemporary works of Brice Marden.
In Grassi’s works we enter both a metaphysical and psychological meditation of color, line and form that blurs the vision into a complete saturation of pure light. Her nebulous images are rendered with both a delicate sensitivity and a gestural force, producing an aura of intense density. These enigmatic forms allude to currents or imagined mindscapes, articulated by a fleshy tonality that moves one beyond the surface and under a layer of skin.
Neysa Grassi is a faculty critic in the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts’ Post Baccalaureate and MFA programs. A graduate of PAFA’s Certificate program, she has won numerous awards, including a Pew Fellowship in the Arts, a Works on Paper Fellowship from the Ballinglen Arts Foundation in Ireland and a Residency Award from the Fundación Valparaíso in Mojácar, Spain. She has had over 20 solo shows in galleries in Philadelphia and New York as well as at the Pensacola Art Museum, FL and the Maryland Institute of Art, MD. Her work is included in the permanent collections of the Philadelphia Museum of Art; The Palmer Museum of Art at Penn State University and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.