The Weiss Gallery presents
September 4 - October 1st, 2008
The richly textured encaustic painting of Montreal-based Alexandre Masino has to be seen in person to be fully consumed. A process of painting using pigmented molten wax, encaustic painting originated in Ancient Greece and is experiencing a resurgence these days. Only a handful have masterd this tricky medium worldwide and Alexandre Masino is surely one of them. In her catalogue essay title Exquisite Dualities written for Masino's recent Montreal exhibition Matière d'être, encaustic maven Joanne Mattera agrees -
"When it is handled well, encaustic yields color that is richer and a surface that is more tangible than conventional oil or acrylic. Masino handles the medium masterfully, wrestling from it every nuance of shape, shadow and hue. Such control does not easily flow from the brush, and certainly not when it is employed in service to representation, for unlike conventional paint that is brushed on wet and needs time to dry, encaustic is applied when it is molten, a state that exists for a second or two before it hardens. This is barely enough time to deliver the paint from the heat source to the painting's surface to each individual brushstroke is a miniature cycle in flux..."
Graduating with a BFA With Distinction from Concordia University in 1997, Masino was already immersed in the international art scene with solo exhibitions at established galleries in both Canada and the United States. Alexandre works alongside poets, writers, musicians and other artists - fusing the varied creative forms gathered from these experience into remarkable artistic projects. Embracing diverse creative stimuli has alloed Masion to carefully hone his own and unique visual language and expression. Alexandre Masino has received critical acclaim for his solo exhibitions in France, The United States and Canada and recently taught a workshop on encaustic painting at the National Encaustic Painting Conference in Massachusetts.
The paintings featured in the exhibition will include a selection of still life compositions but will predominantly feature landscapes - referencing images the artist captured when visiting the Rocky Mountains this spring. Many artist paint mountains yet Masino's challange the sentimentality that artist often engage in when painting the Rockies. Masino allows them to be the monumental presence and forms that they are. In a review of Alexandre Masino's fall exhibition in Montreal featured in Vie des Arts magazine (issue 208, winter 2008), Dorota Kozinska wrote, "Masino's landscapes [focus] on hilly crags and mountain lakes. Misty and lyrical, they are captivating, almost metaphysical meditations on space." In the same article Kozinska asserts -
"[Masino] latest works usurp a particular place on the contemporary art scene."