30 May – 22 June, 2013
Gallery Petit, Chelsea, London
SANDRA HIGGINS is delighted to bring an exciting exhibition of new work by Jeanne Masoero.
‘This latest work marks the culmination of a long process. One in which the many years of previous work can be seen as a long but coherent search, a process leading forward to a mature mastery of complex and deeply felt technique which develops my long-standing fascination with painting as a model of endlessness.’
‘Small dots of saturated colour – red and green – are clustered at the centre of the canvas as though held, like iron filings, by an invisible force. They fan out and infiltrate virgin territory as though travelling along valleys of fault lines. References to landscape are inescapable. Some constellations remind of satellite pictures of the earth’s surface – they have the same surreal beauty. Some resemble maps or charts, others suggest particles of free-floating energy. These paintings are the culmination of years of refining a personal vision.’
Sarah Kent, Art Critic
This is a matter of thorough and consistent attention; of tending and creating, Masoero’s work is detailed yet apparently simple, she makes a map or shroud that progresses in different directions to hold the white surface. The desire to paint something new and a constant adherence of a consistent idea arrives together each time with force.
Somehow while she creates the whole she is still discovering the direction it is to take. Masoero has said she paints because she does not know where she is to be taken. Producing an extended skin or skein of heightened illusory detail she is led, through sharp to feathery shallow detail, on a progression to places more coded than represented, where the urban and the natural converge. The artist lives through such a discovery of place in real time.
With work more apparently abstract than anything else, there is a sense of overview, a tradition of knowing, and yet not knowing what that might mean. Masoero’s recent paintings remain consistent to her own visual expectations and so at one level the work, a pure manifestation of excitement and hope, is for the artist herself. The paint goes off on a run, radiating from sometimes a more fixed centre and sometimes no centre at all. The pieces are for the artist reminiscent, rather than representative, of powerful place such as the Italian Alps, where buildings spotted from the plane grip the steep mountainside and radiate along ancient tracks.
The dot dash of build-up in a fixed range of touch, line and colour follows exactly the way things settle and set in and establish themselves on the very edge of terrain. But the use of ground is extraordinary, the detailed and even apparently mechanically applied paint mimics the dot dash of early print, of reproduction as well as when historical painting was itself turned into engraving.
The white is the unseen possibility, as are all things at the beginning. A natural tendency to go all over the canvas, to cover the ground, with the constant restricted palette, balances with a need to make visual sense. Masoero somehow changes her scale in relation to the surface. She works in a particular way, travelling consistently over the ground without the benefit of overview. We go from sensing what we might end up with, through the unseen methods of making in real time, to understanding that the notation makes up a visual language that can lead in, out and across. A roving eye mirrors the possibility of a mixture of information and sensuousness, of luxury and austerity. The artist is nothing but consistent, yet all this has little to do with morality, so much as a need to pursue a language that can function at a range of levels; a word in a story, perhaps, or the whole tune.
Text by Sacha Craddock, Art Critic and Writer
Masoero has exhibited extensively in the UK and throughout the world, including the Hayward Gallery, London; Institute of Contemporary Arts, London; International Art Fair, Basel and as part of the Critics’ Choice – New British Art show at Christie’s, London. Her work can be found in public and private collections in the UK, Europe, America, Australia and Japan. She was awarded the Austrian Government Fellowship and was a tutor at the Royal College of Art, Goldsmiths and other art colleges.
For Masoero’s full biography: http://jeannemasoero.com/biography.html