Contemporary Realism Art > Born in 1959 in Padua, Italy, Matteo Massagrande is a painter steeped in the history and tradition of representational art. He has been exhibiting his work since 1973, and has shown extensively around the world in public and private collections.
Massagrande’s work is on view in a solo show titled “Into the Light” at Pontone Gallery (London) through January 16, 2021.
From the gallery:
Massagrande proposes a balance between melancholy and optimism. This principle of harmony extends across the entirety of his production, both the technical and conceptual. He has explicitly stated that he is searching for the harmony that underpins humanity and the possibility of regeneration through allegiance to the tenets of great art. These paintings express and bring that idea to life.
These works, which only at a fleeting glance may look realistic, are not directly-observed recordings of actual places, but composites, deliberately assembled from particular references. Space can be and is manipulated at will by the artist, each pictorial element being anchored to its own unique vanishing point. Massagrande bends the rules of perspective to introduce subtle distortions and exaggerations that heighten the psychological impact of these scenes.
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Massagrande’s works are filled with erudite historical citations. These are not direct, literal references but faint echoes meditated through Massagrande’s artistic practice. It is therefore not surprising to discover that behind some of the large paintings in this new collection like “Casa sul Central Park,” “Adriatico,” or “Il colore del cielo,” one can discover traces of Piranesi’s suite of engravings “Le carceri d’invenzione” or “Imaginary prisons.” Massagrande drew inspirations from the Eighteenth Century master’s gloomy and absurd spaces, completely reinterpreting not only their geometrical structure but also their mood. The use of vibrant colours and dazzling light enhance the vague feelings of unease and disorientation in the observer, who is almost literally drawn into the paintings, yet they bestow these compositions with a sense of serene contemplation.