Untitled (Table Series, 1971) Painting by Salvator

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Posted on April 18, 2018.

New York School

Oil painting is signed
Noted New York School artist Salvatore Grippi.

One of the original members of the Abstract Expressionist “New York School”, Salvatore Grippi (1921-2017) exhibited in two of the famous New York Painting and Sculpture Annuals (1953 and 1957) at the Stable Gallery alongside such artists as William Baziotes, Adolph Gottlieb, Willem de Kooning, Michael Goldberg, and Louise Nevelson. After spending several years in California teaching at Pomona College, Grippi was asked to start the painting department at Ithaca College in 1968 and taught there until 1991.

I am honored to have a select number of masterpieces by Grippi from his personal collection. Throughout his long and storied career, Grippi oscillated between the figural and abstract. He seemed to be most comfortable and successful in that liminal space between that which is recognized and that which is felt.

His mid career Postmodern figurative / still Life works, such as the one seen here, are some of my favorites from his oeuvre.

His many views of seemingly banal subject matter, a kitchen table cluttered with life’s daily detritus, occupied most of his time and the results are utterly fantastic.

Through these images the viewer is made aware of the representational foundations of our experience of day to day life. That is to say, this table, it’s high keyed hues, simple forms and intelligent system of perspective is so unbelievably familiar to us, from the bag to the banana, yet is utter fiction. It’s as though 2 dimensional archetypes of the bag and banana and everything else are cut out and put together to resemble what the familiar is supposed to look like, what each part represents, how we compartmentalizations our life from the day to day to the generation to generation.

The banana from our lunchbox melts into the banana from our coffee break to the banana we put into someone else lunchbox. It’s a cycle of life represented to those living the life as what life is before and during living itself.

As with his earlier more abstract works? Grippi plays with the planarity of the picture planes, one meeting the other, tilted, spilling from within, slicing toward the viewer.

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