Exhibit: Recent Works by Jerry Ross
931 Oak St. Eugene, OR 97401
First Friday April the 2nd and again May the 7th
Live music 6-8pm
"Hotel Sympathy Beach" oil on canvas, 2010
Recent works: Italian beach paintings, old master studies, portraits, figurative work, landscapes.
These recent paintings represent current "research" in the sense that I regard painting as a type of "seeing" (or epistemology) into deeper aspects of reality. The "macchia" or sketch is a fluid underpainting that is left to show, in certain places, in the finished work. The "macchia sketch" piucks up aspects of reality that are normally hidden, concealed from consciousness. Too much paint would obscure the patterns revealed and care must be taken not to continue the painting beyond a certain intuitive point.
The show consists of recent works painted in this style. The landscapes are both from Italy and Oregon. Italian beach scenes are presented which have certain expressionistic qualities (e.g. Max Beckman's complex figurative work) but with more attention to light and how the play of light and dark forms unify and illuminate the work.
For example, the beach scenes from Martinsicuro, Italia. The theme of these works is the Italian Beach. The paintings seek to recreate, for the viewer, the energy and space of the the Italian beach which is somewhat unique. Tightly packed people, beach chairs and objects, umbrellas, create an intimate space charged with color and vitality. Many different hues of blue harmonize nicely with shades or orange and pink. Highly saturated reds heat up these beach scenes which are composed using a juxtaposition of abstract shapes. The brightly lighted sand creates a warm and sunny atmosphere which is cooled hues of light greens and violets. The umbrellas create an inner space on the beach, populated by the bathers and sun worshippers, who gather together to visit and talk, giving rise to a spontaneous communty. An "architectue" of umbrellas and figures emerges which in turn provides a kind of lively theatre of color and form.
My work is inspired by the Italian I Macchiaioli (Italian impressionists) who emphasized the concept of "macchia" or spontaneous pattern created by the artist sketching directly from nature and in contrast to highly finished paintings of the established academies of those times.
Jerry Ross was born in Buffalo, N.Y. 1944. Studied at the Albright Art School and privately under Anthony Sisti. Highly influenced by the Italian I Macchiaioli and verismo (dal vero) schools of art. Awards include a gold medal award in Milan (2006) from the Commune di Corsico for the painting "Canale Grande, Venice," a jury awards for "La Mamma" (a Portrait of Stephania Mastrocinque), the portrait "Carlo Bianchi", and for "La Vedova della Guerra." His show in Rome at the prestigious Galleria D’Artre La Bergognona was reviewed by the Rome edition of Corriere della Sera. Both a political and arts activist, he was a member of the anti-war group “The Buffalo Nine” and founded, in Oregon, the Salon des Refuses annual art show and Downtown Initiative for the Visual arts (DIVA). He is represented in Emilia Romagna by Associazione Nove. His poem “Twenty Years of Yawning” was published in 2008 by the multinational libertarian review, “Divergences.”