Naoto Nakagawa, Andrew Masullo, Alexander Ross10 November—13 December 2006  < 2006 page

Celebrating the departure of Alexander Ross from Feature with an exhibition of one of his paintings along with paintings by two other male mid-career artists I admire, none of whom I thought had much in common, yet when put into proximity to each other, I found they shared many formal and conceptual concerns.

Naoto Nakagawa extends his experience of the gross level of nature through his larger than life hyper realistic paintings that border on magical and surreal. They remind me of the experience of diving into the miniature paintings of Richard Dadd, the Victorian painter of faeries. Naoto Nakagawa’s reverent perception intensifies the awe and dreams that directs his painting, yet he is also clearly in stride with the reality of the death, and the cyclical nature of all things. Fecund comes to mind. Naming and identifying too. Loss yet optimism. His most recent paintings depict the vibrant landscape of the Hudson Valley were he spends much of his time.

NAOTO NAKAGAWA: Thanatopsis, 2005 Andrew Masullo, I am told by one of his long time art dealer friends, thinks about death a lot, all the time. A collector of his work once told me the artist paints in the nude. The artist mentioned to me he sits on the floor when he paints. That flashed me on the scene in Hercules (I think) where Zeus and Athena are by a palace pool and with the wave of a hand the surface clears and the life of Hercules is revealed and they proceed to battle out their personal matters through influences on the life of Hercules. A sculptor I admire said, “I find Andrew's paintings a lot to look at / think about. The most difficult of questions in a really simple form.” For me his paintings stabilize the transitory and I sense an amusing play between affect and effect. There is a sense of the brush dragging thoughts over the surface of the canvas, covering, shaping, and revealing the screaming paint. The artist noted that he keeps working on them until they make sense. ANDREW MASULLO: 4466, 2005 ANDREW MASULLO: 4472, 2005 ANDREW MASULLO: 4485, 2005   ANDREW MASULLO: 4515, 2006   ANDREW MASULLO: 4539, 2006   ANDREW MASULLO: 4540, 2006   ANDREW MASULLO: 4543, 2006   Alexander Ross, since the early ‘90s, has been involved with discerning the transitions into and out of life. One minute molecular and the next vast and panoramic and synthetic. His working process from photo to model to painting and his experiments with paint applications are somewhat of an investigation into the possibilities of matter or matters. His things always have a sense of primal intelligence and are full of dramas. One can feel/hear/see the Sorcerer's Apprentice coaxing the army of brooms to carry the buckets of water out the door.   ALEXANDER ROSS: Untitled, 2006  
spacer NAOTO NAKAGAWA: Thanatopsis, 2005; acrylic paint on canvas; 120 X 90” spacer ANDREW MASULLO: 4466, 2005; oil paint on canvas; 12 x 16” ANDREW MASULLO: 4472, 2005; oil paint on canvas; 20 x 24” space ANDREW MASULLO: 4485, 2005; oil paint on canvas; 16 x 20” space ANDREW MASULLO: 4515, 2006; oil paint on canvas; 18 x 14” space ANDREW MASULLO: 4539, 2006; oil paint on canvas; 18 x 24” space ANDREW MASULLO: 4540, 2006; oil paint on canvas; 24 x 18”
space ANDREW MASULLO: 4543, 2006; oil paint on canvas; 20 x 24”
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space ALEXANDER ROSS: Untitled, 2006; oil paint on canvas; 92 x 76”
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