Salvatore Grippi, Untitled Abstract Painting (Unfinished) 2011

image.png
image.png
image.png
image.png
image.png
image.png

Salvatore Grippi, Untitled Abstract Painting (Unfinished) 2011

6,100.00

One of the original members of the Abstract Expressionist "New York School", Salvatore Grippi (1921-2017) exhibited in two of the famous New York Painting and Sculpture Annuals (1953 and 1957) at the Stable Gallery alongside such artists as William Baziotes, Adolph Gottlieb, Willem de Kooning, Michael Goldberg, and Louise Nevelson. After spending several years in California teaching at Pomona College, Grippi was asked to start the painting department at Ithaca College in 1968 and taught there until 1991.

I am honored to have a select number of masterpieces by Grippi from his personal collection. Throughout his long and storied career, Grippi oscillated between the figural and abstract. He seemed to be most comfortable and successful in that liminal space between that which is recognized and that which is felt. This is a stunning work from his late ouevre. It was left 'incomplete' at the time of Gruppo's passing in mid-2017.  

The artist had moved back to complete abstraction in the last phase of his career, this time with a particular reverence for perfect geometry, straight line and flat planes of color. The expressive gestural brushstroke is left behind, as Grippi experiments with the use of color and shape in a combination and juxtaposed as a means by which he can express and because of which the viewer engages with the experience of looking. I particularly like the use of thick line here as it not only references the 2-dimensionality of the work in the modernist vein, but also serve as paths for the gaze of the viewer onto, across and ultimately into the space. They are orthogonal that borderline on rectangles. The viewer cannot help but jump back and forth between wanting read them systematically, as part of an overall vision or illusion of space beyond the picture plane and as two dimensional lines, like the work of constructivist, de Stijl and abstract artists of the early 20th century, like Mondrian for example.  

The unfinished portions of the canvas add to this multi talented experience. One sees them as the most brazen of all modernist, formalism portions of the piece, literally revealing the two dimensional nature of the work, but at the same time cannot help but understand them as a sort of negative space that hovers behind the painted areas, quite literally and through which one can imagine a second, deeper plane that exists behind the picture plane itself. Painters tape applied but the artist remains on the unfinished canvas. l

Add To Cart