Friedrichs Pontone opens an exhibition of works by painter Matteo Massagrande

Friedrichs Pontone opens an exhibition of works by painter Matteo MassagrandeFriedrichs Pontone opens an exhibition of works by painter Matteo Massagrande
  • Start:Nov. 19, 2022
  • End:Dec. 4, 2022

La Grande Nevicata, 2021. Oil and mixed media on board, 27.6 x 39.4 in. 70 x 100 cm

Open through 4 December 2022, Friedrichs Pontone is presenting Infinite Spaces - a first exhibition of renowned painter Matteo Massagrande’s works at the new gallery’s location in Tribeca, New York.

Born in Padua, Italy, Matteo Massagrande is a painter steeped in the history and tradition of figurative representation, inspired by 19th century Italian Realism. He has been exhibiting his work since 1973, and has shown extensively around the world, his paintings featuring in many public and private collections. He divides his time between Padua and Hajos, Hungary. The influences of both locations are fundamental to the content and spirit of his practice.

In their subject matter and method of execution the paintings evoke light, place and time. Most show architectural interiors with vistas through to exterior spaces, whilst some focus on cryptically symbolic trees, navigating the continuity between the past and the present. Color and light are two of his main focuses, a tradition in Venetian painting.

The nature of his subject is intriguing and mysterious. He shows unoccupied, decayed, possibly abandoned, domestic interiors. They are in fact composite images, collated to produce theatrical and compressed evocations of location and history. The paintings have a quiet quality to them, often with no human subjects present in the foreground, but the lush and fertile backgrounds suggest a conversation between the past and the present in his works. Massagrande also occasionally includes marble dust and sand within his frames, harkening back to a past where grainy textures are applied to imbue the paintings with a classical feeling.

A tension plays out in these outwardly calm and controlled images. Massagrande's careful rendering of his systematic and forensic observations makes paintings of rich visual density, which effectively capture and pin down a significant moment within his rigorous method. His works bring simultaneous feelings of melancholy and optimism, suggesting a past human presence within the frame whilst simultaneously drawing the viewer eye to the rich interiors of his spaces.