January 2008, Philadelphia, PA – Locks Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of new paintings and recent gouaches by Philadelphia artist Neysa Grassi. Neysa Grassi: Losing and Finding will be on view March 7 through 31, 2008. There will be an opening reception Friday, March 7th from 5:30-7:30pm.
Grassi cites art historian David Sylvester’s 1997 book, Looking at Giacometti, as a source of inspiration for the paintings in the exhibition. Though the book is about Giacometti’s figural sculptures and portrait paintings, making him an unlikely source of influence, it was Sylvester’s deep understanding of the artist’s creative process with which Grassi has identified. In the book, Sylvester writes, “The need for repetition was insatiable and comprehensive. It applied to the method as well as to the theme: his habitual way of realising a work was by incessantly building, effacing and building again.” The name of the exhibition comes from a chapter title in Sylvester’s book. “Losing and finding” becomes a description of artistic technique, as well as a “metaphor for one’s own life.”
This recent understanding of approach and technique could in fact apply to Grassi’s nearly twenty years of work. Her application of paint creates a tactile canvas that speaks to one’s sense of touch, as much as sight. For Grassi, loyalty to abstract painting is a testament of her commitment to making intuitive and honest artwork. Her work stands alongside contemporaries such as Brice Marden and Sean Scully.
Neysa Grassi, a recipient of a Pew Fellowship, has had solo exhibitions at several museums, including the Pensacola Art Museum, FL and the Pensylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, PA. Since 1990 the artist has had over 18 one-person exhibitions in galleries in Philadelphia and New York. Grassi is currently a critic in the Masters of Fine Arts program at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.