Highly acclaimed Italian contemporary abstract artist Vincenzo Balsamo (1935 -2017) started his studies at the age of 8 as an apprentice for Master Acquaviva in Rome. What followed was an impressive international career spanning over 60 years: meetings with Picasso, Hartung & other pivotal modernists and exhibitions in Italy, Europe, New York, Japan, Korea & Australia.
Standing in the presence of Vincenzo's oeuvre in the Juniper Studio gallery, you feel transported to a significant private European collection. As you explore each work there are glimpses of modernism, post-modernism, cubism, abstract cubism, abstract expressionism, divisionism, and finally lyrical abstraction. Along with the dates catalogued, the eclectic frames become important historical markers of what was in vogue when each piece was first exhibited. The work encapsulates the major aesthetic movements in post-war Europe, and Vincenzo was one of those few visionary artists whose ideas, eyes and creations have shaped the direction of contemporary western art.
Masterpieces Paesaggio Onirico 2006 & Untitle 2003 are so large you feel yourself absorbed into the painted surface. In dramatic contrast to the vast scale of canvas is the application of paint, each detail painstakingly designed & applied with minute brushes. The effect is colours that appear both to dissolve into one another & vibrate off the canvas, and a clear sense of light entering each painting from above.
On light, colour, and his laborious technique in an interview with Elisa Parma in 2000 Vincenzo said:
'My Mediterranean origins.... determines the light that inundates my paintings. The white houses, the sea air, these are things one always carries around within oneself. I have painted paintings that have never been shown, that are almost white, because I carry the light of Brindisi inside myself.... I do not take the theory of decomposition of colour literally. I use this technique in my own way, without being a slave thereof. It helps me give vibration to the whole.'
The full biography of Vincenzo Balsamo can be viewed at www.vincenzobalsamo.com. Along with the original life works exhibited, there are a number of hand signed lithographs and two published biographies available at our Gallery.
We are so grateful to the Balsamo family for entrusting us with their creations, and exhibiting them together for the first time in Western Australia.