BankRI Turks Head Gallery
“Black and White: Paintings by Frank Gasbarro”
June 7 through July 3, 2018
There will be a Gallery Night Providence reception on June 21 from 5 to 8:30 pm with live music by Mark Armstrong and light hors d’oeuvres.
MEET THE ARTIST – FRANK GASBARRO
The house in Elmwood is a painter’s house. On the first floor, decades of paintings, prints and photographs line the walls. The second floor is dedicated living space, but it’s the third floor that is magical for it houses the expansive studio of artist Frank Gasbarro.
Gasbarro is a well-known, if elusive figure, in the Providence art world. His former studio on Snow Street in downtown Providence helped cement the city’s reputation as a cultural capital. At one time, his highly personalized iconographic abstract paintings electrified the walls of many businesses and galleries throughout New England. He has shown, sold and thrived as an artist.
Now in his 70s, Gasbarro has chosen a quieter path, one away from the gallery scene and most web-based platforms. He climbs the stairs to his studio daily, diligent and eager to work. There he loses himself in visual conversations with his large-scale paintings.
Largely self-taught, Gasbarro has developed a unique vocabulary of non-objective imagery which he contrasts with strong patterns and colors. Often the images look familiar – perhaps a shell, an egg or an eye – but upon closer inspection these objects are alien and unknown, existing only in a world of Gasbarro’s imagination. Occasionally the artist mines the real world for imagery, as he did with a series based on vegetables and fruit, but for the most part the objects in Gasbarro’s paintings are of his own making.
Consequently Gasbarro’s paintings look unlike any other paintings that you might find in today’s marketplace. He is speaking a language only he knows and trying to entice you to learn it, not an easy task for any painter. The life of an artist is often a solitary one, but Gasbarro’s tenacious insistence on forging his own unique path isolates him even further.
Although Gasbarro has no website, he does post his work and inspirations on Instagram. It is through this popular platform that the artist reaches out to the world to share his life’s work.
The paintings shown here at the BankRI Galleries are from a series of black-and-white artwork Gasbarro made in the late 90s. Although the majority of the paintings are indeed black and white, some have threads and patches of color weaving in and out.
Exhibit hours are Monday through Wednesday 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Thursday and Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 401-574- 1330 or check http://www.facebook.com/BankRhodeIsland.
The BankRI Galleries featured the artworks of Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts contemporary artists and are curated by Paula Martiesian, a Providence-based artist and arts advocate. For additional information and images, contact Paula at 401-521-7634 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.