Gross McCleaf Gallery
127 S Sixteenth Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Current Exhibitions



Evan Fugazzi
In Situ

October 5 - 29, 2016
Opening Reception: Friday, October 7, 5 - 7 pm

Evan Fugazzi, Leaves of Grass, Acrylic on linen, 11 x 14 inches  


Entering the gallery of Evan Fugazzi's large scale paintings is like throwing the blinds open in a dark room.  The immediate reaction is a drenching, declarative oneness.  The graphic nature of these black acrylic shapes on white rectangular canvases feels like a bold statement about simplicity and blatant form.  And in truth, they are formal feats achieved within narrow parameters, including a lack of color and limited moves to arrive at the final compositions.  These are paintings which favor economy and reject excess, but not at the expense of a poetic sensibility. 


As my eyes adjust to the bald brightness of Fugazzi's visual language, the paintings come to rest in a more nuanced space than the high-achieving formal successes they appear to be at first.  As if hiding in plain sight, the initial geometries give way to complexity.  Architectural spaces, bird's-eye landscapes, tabletops, and gates to the great beyond take shape as the binary black and white interact as subject and field. 


These paintings reward viewers with the kind of meditative, slow pace Fugazzi employed to make them.  As a Midwestern, hardworking painter he told me one of his hardest earned studio lessons occurred recently, "there's effort...and then there's timing."  That exercise in restraint and patience replicates itself in the work.  The full experience of these pieces allows a glimpse of his process which merges intellectual, measured maneuvering around the canvas with a grappling for real world feeling, present in the touch of the surface.  As a result, these paintings are not overly sympathetic or brusquely chilly but stand still in a unique place holding both strands of investigation to the light. 


Aubrey Levinthal


Born in Lexington, Kentucky, Evan Fugazzi graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a degree in architecture. He moved to Florence, Italy studying at the Florence Academy of Art and then to Gothenburg, Sweden. In 2012, Fugazzi received his M.F.A. from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. His work is included in the collections of the Woodmere Art Museum, Tiffany & Co., and the PMC Property Group. He currently lives and works in Philadelphia, PA.


Aubrey Levinthal is an artist, critic, and teacher. She lives and works in Philadelphia, PA.





Max Mason

October 5 - 29, 2016
Opening Reception: Friday, October 7, 5 - 7 pm




Max Mason, Eakin's Oval Fountain, Oil on canvas, 20 x 24 inches  


As a teacher I often preached, ‘You don’t really see something until you draw it’. That was certainly the case when I braved the 6 lanes of roundabout traffic that surrounds Eakins Oval in front of the Art Museum steps and began sketching Rudolf Siemering’s magnificent ‘Washington Monument’. One thought kept racing through my head as I walked around and drew from different angles, ‘This thing is simply awesome!’ The next morning I brought out my paints and began what turned into a series of almost 40 paintings of Philadelphia’s sculptures, monuments and fountains.

                                                                                            -Max Mason, 2016


Gross McCleaf is pleased to announce the opening of Max Mason’s solo exhibit, Still/Motion. Mason, well-known for his baseball themed paintings, has shifted his attention to celebrate a different aspect of American culture.  During the past few years, Mason has been painting the public statuary and fountains of Philadelphia.  Sites that are usually only seen peripherally, now benefit from undivided attention.  The artist’s bold, energetic brushwork is uniquely suited to his working entirely en plein air.  It is through this direct interaction with Philadelphia’s iconic monuments that Mason paints what constitute ‘visual love poems’ to Philadelphia’s historical artistic legacy.  In his own way of noticing, Mason conveys his fascinations and invites viewers to enjoy Philadelphia’s treasures anew.


The artist says, “As I worked, I felt connected to the long dead sculptors and in some cases felt the subject itself coming to life. As the sun got higher in the sky I saw the city itself come alive.... I felt connected to the landscape, light, people, and architecture of our town in a whole new way. The tension between the two, a static bronze figure(s), and the light, landscape and people surrounding it never stopped moving me. Hopefully some of that joy and sense of discovery comes through in the work.”


Mason has been exhibiting with Gross McCleaf Gallery since 1986.  He is a graduate of Vassar College and has an MFA from the University of Pennsylvania where he studied with Neil Welliver.  His work is in the collections of The Butler Art Institute, Youngstown, OH, the University of Pennsylvania, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.  Mason’s paintings have been included in the United States Art in Embassies program.