Throwing shapes: American artist Andrew Masullo uses colour and scale to captivate the eye
A mere three years ago, the San Francisco-based artist Andrew Masullo racked up considerable acclaim in the art world as a stunning 34 of his oil paintings were included in the 2012 Whitney Biennial. This should be the contextual backdrop to see Tibor de Nagy Gallery’s current showing ‘Andrew Masullo: Recent Paintings’, which presents a selection of work spanning 26 years of his exciting career.
‘Andrew’s artistic endeavors reflect his propensity for small scaled hard-edged nonobjective works with a vivid palette in a narrow range of colors,’ says Eric Brown, Tibor de Nagy’s co-owner. A case in point is the artist’s 6052, a perfect example of Masullo’s methods of using unmixed oil paint straight from the tube.
And placement in the Whitney Biennale isn’t the only feather in Masullo’s cap. Born in 1957 in Elizabeth, New Jersey, he was honoured by The American Academy of Arts and Letters a scant five years ago, no less.
His seemingly simple assemblies of shape and colour are actually complex interplays that pit compositional pieces against each other to captivate the viewer. But Masullo has also gone far beyond oil painting to trod radically different paths. The artist has also turned to found material in creating Joseph Cornell-like boxes, collages, sculpture and even puzzles with a heavy reliance on text, points out Brown.
‘There’s a measured directness to Andrew’s paintings. As he has said: A painting that needs to be explained is not worth talking about.’