"All the Sauce"
September 6-28, 2019
Friday, September 6, 5-7 pm
Benjamin Passione describes his paintings as "both under and overworked" and his description is apt. His paintings run the gamut between distilled clarity with restraint and a frenetic cacophony of colors, textures, and marks. The painted "rollercoasters" of visual moments provide a journey with dynamic slippages which are a tonic for the times of mandated utility. Passione's process of lengthy interaction, recalibration, and reorientation of his paintings cultivates works that could not be pre-imagined but are filled with space for the imagination to roam. Passione's paintings benefit from a vitality born from the means of their finding: handmade, felt, visual, and free from singular meaning.
Less interested in the literal, the artist stretches paint-- its chromatic possibilities, its tactile qualities-- to its limits. His paintings show striving. He finds uncharted territory in the well-trodden realm of the rectangle as his paint jumps, bounces, saturates, overlaps, undercuts, and skips across the surfaces of his paintings. His marks are free, leaving room for associations and straining for nonverbal possibilities. Navigating the chaos of a painting and uncovering its inherent structure allows viewers to follow Passione's lead as they are beckoned to both find and lose themselves in his work. It is a romantic way of painting. It is a way of seeing and doing where Passione presents new worlds with their own rules; nonverbal in complexity and nuance.
Benjamin Passione lives and works in Philadelphia. He graduated from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts' esteemed certificate program in 2008. This will be his first solo exhibition with Gross McCleaf.