Museum of Russian Icons reopens with "Painted Poetry: Alexander Gassel"
The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Museum of Russian Icons reopens with "Painted Poetry: Alexander Gassel"
Alexander Gassel, Russian Village, 2010.

CLINTON, MASS.- The Museum of Russian Icons presents Painted Poetry, a retrospective exhibition of contemporary works by Russian-born American artist and designer Alexander Gassel. Blending the avant-garde with traditional Russian iconography, combining ancient symbols with contemporary subjects, Gassel creates extraordinarily vivid paintings that reflect his cultural heritage alongside his life experience in America.

Artist, conservator, and writer Alexander Gassel's work combines ancient icon painting techniques with Biblical, mythological, contemporary, and deeply personal narratives. His distinctive style is a synthesis of Art Deco designs influenced by Erté, narrative genre scenes evoking Chagall, saturated color schemes recalling Kandinsky, and complex formal structures reminiscent of Malevich, all combining to make for a highly sophisticated and individual vision that is unique to Gassel, yet typically Russian. Harmonious, elegant, and moving, his art consistently garners international attention and appears in many public and private collections, including that of the Vatican.

Painted Poetry is the first exhibition curated by MoRI's new Curator of Collections and Exhibitions, Lana Sloutsky. Bringing together artworks in a wide variety of genres, some paired with excerpts from his short stories, the show reveals Gassel's ability as a master storyteller in both word and image. A poetic aesthetic marks both and simultaneously offers an in-depth look into Gassel's artistic process while stimulating the viewer's imagination.

According to Sloutsky, "Rigorously trained as an iconographer, conservator, painter, and art historian, Sasha is prolific, creative, and erudite. His oeuvre displays an array of themes, styles, and techniques inspired as much by traditional Orthodox iconography as the Italian Renaissance, as much by the Russian avant-garde as by the European post-Impressionists. Not satisfied with the restrictions of a straight edge canvas, Gassel frequently creates unconventionally shaped and colored frames for his paintings, thus extending the works’ narrative impact beyond the compositional space. The pieces are characterized by both an acute tension and a harmonious balance of color and line. In all, the works are permeated with an internal sense of rhythm, akin to music on canvas, and are at once introspective and relevant to his widely varied audience. A technical virtuoso with a genuine depth of feeling, his paintings transport the viewer to a different place and time, while reminding him of the universality of the human condition."

Born in Moscow in 1947, Alexander Gassel graduated from the Moscow Institute of Arts and Graphics in 1970 with an MA in Fine Arts.

From 1970 to 1980, he worked at the famous Grabar Center for the Restoration and Preservation of Art in Moscow, restoring and copying medieval tempera paintings while collecting and assessing icons that were, at that time, being removed from churches across Russia and brought to Moscow for conservation and display.

Influenced by this experience, the artist began to create his own paintings – for the most part, personal interpretations of Biblical events. His painting style derives as much from icon painting as from early 20th-century Russian masters such as Marc Chagall, Wassily Kandinsky, and Kazimir Malevich, and émigré artists such as Erté. During the Soviet period, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, and other artistic movements were suppressed and Gassel has vividly described the experience of surreptitiously seeing works by Chagall and Malevich in the storage areas of Soviet museums.

Gassel immigrated to the United States in 1980 with $10 in his pocket and no knowledge of the English language. He was not allowed to bring any of his artwork because, by law, no religious art could leave the country. He found work as a draughtsman for a railroad company and painted on weekends. Eventually, he had an exhibition where he sold enough paintings to quit his job and work as an artist and icon conservator full-time again. Gassel is the longtime icon conservator at the Museum of Russian Icons, a position to which he brings a wealth of experience, an eye for detail, and an exemplary work ethic.

In his work, Gassel uses ancient techniques employed in the creation of icon paintings. He paints with egg yolk tempera, making his own color pigments by grinding natural stones and minerals, such as malachite, cinnabar, or lapis into powder, which he then mixes with egg yolk. The artist often applies gold or silver leaf to the paintings.

Today's News

March 13, 2021

The secret stunt doubles of the art world

Garrett Bradley reminds us that Black joy always existed

David Zwirner opens an exhibition of works by William Eggleston and John McCracken

Exhibition at TAI Modern pairs works of Japanese bamboo art with flowers

British PM rules out return of Parthenon Marbles to Greece

The First 5000 Days, sold for $69,346,250 to Metakovan, founder of Metapurse

First NFT work registered to the Vastari exhibition platform

The Rubin Museum of Art opens 'Awaken: A Tibetan Buddhist Journey Toward Enlightenment'

Joy and anger in balance: The art of Lorraine O'Grady

Simon Bisley's original Lobo No. 1 cover heads to auction for the first time

Time stands still at historic Cairo watch shop

Holt/Smithson Foundation announces representation of Nancy Holt by Sprüth Magers

A rift over art and activism ripples through the performance world

New exhibition, Making Space, opens at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia

Vast 'Indian Land' sign draws visitors to Desert X art festival

Targeted in protests, Chile removes general's statue

Museum of Russian Icons reopens with "Painted Poetry: Alexander Gassel"

Lyndon B. Johnson signed official printing of a landmark Civil Rights bill sold for more than $85,000

Book owned by Ada Lovelace is for sale, in honor of Women's History Month

Richard Saltoun Gallery opens an exhibition of works by Peter Kennard

James Cohan opens an exhibition of new works by Michelle Grabner

The captivating delight of birds is explored in new exhibition

Rare early Charlie Chaplin poster from 1913 to be offered at auction

London Art Week announces an impressive line-up of insightful and lively talks

What is Lintel? Types and Benefits of Lintel in Construction

How Artists Can Attract Audiences to Their New Music on Spotify

Meet the Artist-Photographer Who Brings Vivid Narratives into Existence

Incredible Facts About Instant Loans Finding the Best Instant Loans

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez
Writer: Ofelia Zurbia Betancourt

Truck Accident Attorneys
Accident Attorneys

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. Hommage
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site Parroquia Natividad del Señor
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful