James Del Grosso’s (1941-2013) still lives begin with a thoroughly modern sensibility - an exquisite sense of form and composition. He bathes these forms in a defining light that harks back to the American luminists, and finally completes the whole with a painstaking old master's polish.
Light still is the predominant element in his work - a light that reveals the solidity of his forms and the clarity of his meticulous application of glaze upon glaze. However there is a new drama in his use of light with the monumentality of mundane objects of domestic still life. Del Grosso wants us to see - to see clearly, emphatically and specifically. Through scale and light, he forces viewers to abandon what we assume or know about specific objects and to view them anew.
Much larger-than-life stainless steel kitchen implements are revealed as intriguing and complex shapes with a surface sheen that is at times spectacular. A single onion becomes a celebration of graceful form and exquisite textures.
So much art today is surrounded by a veil of ideas or used to promulgate social or political positions, therefore it is especially refreshing when an artist like Del Grosso offers us the opportunity to indulge in the simple pleasures of seeing.
Excerpt from “CeCe Bullard”, by Richmond Times Dispatch, Richmond, VA
“These drawings focus on subjects from the worlds of carnivals, travel, and the circus. The characters and experiences from these worlds are unusual and work as a kind of mythology for the modern age. The circus is one of the last places where we see “monsters” and “heroes” before us and these subjects share the virtue of taking us out of familiar realms and allowing us a new perspective on the world. And yet, as unusual as this world may be it is also a return to a childlike world of adventure and wonder. As Socrates suggested “philosophy begins in wonder” and I want my work to serve not only as icons of uncommon events but also as metaphors for aspects of our lives that we encounter every day."