Sun, 10/16/2011 – Sun, 01/15/2012

Rodale Gallery

Salvatore Grippi (b. 1921) used everyday prosaic objects to convey an impressive sense of mystery, intensity, and surrealism in a group of drawings, collages, and paintings that were on display in the museum’s Rodale Gallery in fall of 2011. An accomplished artist with a sure and sensitive touch, whether wielding a pencil or a brush, Grippi has turned the conventional into the unconventional through his use of light, space, and organization in this creation of a series of still-life presentations that are familiar and yet not, quite possibly because the artist has created his compositions from the memory of the objects that he so meticulously delineates rather than from the reality of a consciously prepared physical arrangement. The black and white drawings capture light and dark, hovering between still life and landscape, the physical and metaphysical, while the brilliant red paintings shout for a different kind of attention, presenting similar objects as both confrontational and remote. A small group of collages are composed of wonderfully soft amorphous shapes that conspire to suggest true dimensionality, yet often defy specific object description.

The 29 pieces that comprised the exhibition represented work done from the mid-1970s through the early 1980s. Though the size, medium, and technique differed, the shared motif of the everyday objects that formed these disquietingly beautiful still-life images provide a mind-bending window into the ambiguity of reality and the invented terrains of the mind.

Salvatore Grippi, American, (b. 1921), Untitled, 1981, oil on canvas. Lent by Artist