Natasha Das: Thread
Textures created with thread are to Natasha Das what brushstrokes are for other artists: fundamental, visceral, expressive elements. Das’ labor-intensive compositions convey her unique voice by representing an engagement with both abstraction and the weaving tradition of her native India, lending an autobiographical component to her work.
Das consciously envisions and determinedly places each stitch. Her technique of applying layers of thread to her oil paintings creates rich surface textures that percolate and vibrate with intensity. The brightly painted blocks of color intertwine seamlessly with intricate, meticulous hand-stitching and culminate in a unified, harmonious presentation.
Natasha Das is an Indian-American artist living and working in New York City. She earned her BFA from Angel Academy of Art in Florence, Italy and studied at the Art Students League of New York. Gross McCleaf Gallery is pleased to present Natasha’s first solo exhibition in Philadelphia.
By Independent Curator, Angelica Semmelbauer
Max Mason: Sky Light
A sense of wistful longing and childlike wonder can be found in Max Mason’s landscape oil paintings, depicting mid-Missouri vistas. Well known for his baseball-themed works, Mason has shifted to another quintessentially American subject - the family farm. Mason’s family farm is located in western Missouri, where he spent his summers as a child. He returns frequently to experience the gently rolling plains, rushing turbulent rivers and dramatic storm clouds that grace his expansive landscapes.
Max Mason grew up in Lincoln, Massachusetts. After graduating from Vassar College with a degree in Geology in 1975 he came to Philadelphia in 1981 to study at the University of Pennsylvania with landscape painter Neil Welliver. He is represented by the Gross McCleaf Gallery where he has shown his landscape, still life and baseball paintings since 1985.
Short & Sweet
Short & Sweet is a collection of mini exhibitions, each offering a taste of works by a Gross McCleaf artist. The show includes Giovanni Casadei’s en plein air beach scenes and a selection of his atmospheric still life interiors. New artist Rhea Cutillo presents environmentally conscious landscape paintings and gallery regular, Ying Li, offers lusciously rich and densely painted canvases. Scott Noel’s skillfully executed portraits and still lifes, Jeffrey Reed’s compact yet expansive vistas, Val Rossman’s selection of expressive and geometric abstractions, and a selection of luminous diminutive landscape scenes by Thomas Paquette round out a rich and diverse exhibit.
Gross McCleaf Gallery is pleased to announce two solo exhibitions of new paintings by gallery artists, Natasha Das and Max Mason and a collection of mini exhibitions, featuring the work of Giovanni Casadei, Rhea Cutillo, Ying Li, Scott Noel, Thomas Paquette, Jeffrey Reed and Val Rossman.
Textures created with thread are to Natasha Das what brushstrokes are for other artists: fundamental, visceral, expressive elements. Das’ labor-intensive compositions convey her unique voice by representing an engagement with both abstraction and the weaving tradition of her native India, lending an autobiographical component to her work. . .
When Christine Lafuente set out to paint her latest series of works in Puerto Rico in March 2020, she never fathomed what would transpire over the next few months. The trip was planned a year prior after having visited the country for a workshop and finding that the cities reminded her of her late father’s home country of Cuba, which he left to go to university in the United States and was unable to return.
Lafuente had planned to explore San Juan, learning more about the people, the architecture and the culture, in hopes of making a deeper connection to a similar ancestry as her own. Soon after she arrived for what was supposed to be a shorter trip, Lafuente was locked down in the country and stayed for several months because of the pandemic. Her work, which she had hoped would reflect the vibrancy and beauty of the city at a more intimate level, shifted to views from the windows of the terrace apartment she rented. The work created was more internal but still filled with the bold architecture and bright sunlight.
Gross McCleaf gallery was founded in 1969 by Estelle Shane Gross, and the Rittenhouse Square Gallery has celebrated a half-century legacy of female leadership.
"This was really at the beginning of what would become a rich gallery scene in Philadelphia," says gallery owner and director, Rebecca Segall, who adds that Gross started with the idea of a New York City-style gallery, but then began supporting local artists. . .