A master of atmosphere, mood, and light, famed Charleston artist Linda Fantuzzo is represented by more than twenty paintings drawn from her most recent body of work in a new exhibition Linda Fantuzzo: Penumbra. It is on view at the Morris Museum of Art
from September 25 through December 12, 2021.
The landscape and interior paintings and drawings in this exhibition are rendered with a quiet, abstracted simplicity. The inclusion of stairs, ladders, windows, and doors suggests an unseen yet palpable human presence. The title Penumbra, a term that means a space of partial illumination, references lights transitions. In these works Fantuzzo connects the literal transitions of light to the metaphorical transitions and impermanence of the human experience.
The work in the present exhibition is rendered with a quiet simplicity, while the inclusion of stairs, ladders, windows, and doors in many of them suggests an invisible, but palpable, human presence, said Kevin Grogan, director, Morris Museum of Art. As Linda Fantuzzo has written in her artist statement, Lightbright, low, or poeticcan imbue the image with a feeling that something has happened, or, will momentarily occur.
A native of Endicott, New York, Linda Fantuzzo began painting at age twelve. She studied painting and graphics at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia from 1968 to 1973 before moving to Charleston, where she set up a studio in 1974. She was influenced to do so by fellow graduate student Manning Williams, a native Charlestonian who was already an established artist there, and his wife, journalist Barbara S. Williams. (Manning Williamss masterpiece Jack Island Trials is the subject of an exhibition at the Morris opening November 4.)
She produced non-objective work in various media for more than ten years before deciding to return to representational imagery,producing landscapes, interiors, structures, and still lifes. No matter the subject, it is really the quality of light and atmosphere permeating her work that is her principal interest.
A full-time studio artist, she has also been an active leader in South Carolinas arts community for years, serving on review panels for the state's Arts Commission and for the Advisory Board of the Halsey Institute for Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston School of the Arts. She has been a juror for Charleston's City Gallery at Waterfront Park, the Charleston Artist Guild, the Saul Alexander Gallery at the Charleston County Public Library, and many other arts institutions and programs in South Carolina. In 2000 she cocurated the exhibition Sehnsucht: The Art of Pati Croffead, and in 2002 she was the project director for Larger Than Life: A Second Story Show, sponsored by the City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs and featured at Piccolo Spoleto.
Her work has been featured in many solo exhibitions and is included in the collections of the Greenville County Museum of Art, the Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston, the State Art Collection of the South Carolina Arts Commission in Columbia, and the Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, as well as in other public, private, and corporate collections throughout the United States and Europe.