Antonietta Grassi - Off Line

April Dell, July 21, 2021




August 4. 2021 – September 4. 2021


Ronewa Art Projects presents Off Line, an online exhibition featuring the works of Canadian painter Antonietta Grassi that combine vibrant geometric abstraction and intriguing imagined forms that spark associations and stir memories. Live in the Ronewa viewing room from August 4 to September 4, the exhibition brings together recent works on canvas and paper alongside an interview with the artist and background on her practice.


Grassi fills her ambiguous pictorial spaces with layered geometric shapes, creating distorted three-dimensional objects that are enigmatic and familiar. These forms visually reference modes of technology, fluctuating between analog machines of the past and the digitalization of the present and future. The thread-like lines that appear across Grassi’s works are suggestive of weaving on an industrial loom. At the same time, they could be computer ribbon cables or else a visualization of data flow. Grassi titles her virtual exhibition “Off Line with tongue in cheek, pointing to the juxtapositions in her work, such as the obvious hand-painted quality of her mathematical forms or her series ‘Posting’ that refers to both the ubiquitous Post-It Note and the act of publishing on social media. 


The various technological eras contained within one painting bring up questions around obsolescence, a topic that interests Grassi for its parallels with notions of loss and memory. Her own experience of confronting loss and processing remnants of the past greatly influences her practice. She writes, “My work delves into how memories of the past produce fleeting blueprints for structuring the present, and how a delicate stability is attained through the language and solidity of color, shape and light.” Her semi-translucent cubic forms may allude to how we compartmentalize and store memories in our subconscious, building an intangible architecture to anchor our everyday experiences.


Antonietta Grassi lives and works in Montreal, Canada. Her paintings and works on paper have been featured in solo and group exhibitions at museums and galleries in Canada, the United States, and in Europe, including Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Quebec (MNBAQ), Boston Center for the Arts, Katonah Museum in New York,  MAACK Kalenarte in Italy, and Kunstwerk Calshutte in Germany. In addition, her work is in public, corporate, and private collections, including MNBAQ, Global Affairs Canada, Archives of Ontario, Groupe Desjardins, Museo MAACK, Boston Public Library, and Stewart Hall Art Gallery. She is the recipient of awards and grants, including from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Conseil des Arts et Lettres du Quebec. She has participated in numerous artist residencies such as the Banff Center for Arts in Alberta, Canada, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Studios at MASS MOCA, MA, USA.

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