Marking his fourth solo exhibition at Marx & Zavattero, Bay Area painter Stephen Giannettidebuts a brilliant new series of paintings and drawings July 11 – August 22, 2009.Giannetti’s continuing exploration of oil on french polyester, layered circles of color is newly paired with black on white/white on black oil pastel drawings, and black and white spray paint on linen works.In a visually stunning twist, the artist constructs the three separate styles of pieces together – both framed and unframed – into one larger almost quilt-like composition that becomes a dynamic and fresh mediation on form, media, and color.
For the colored oil paintings, Giannetti begins with the three primary colors on the palette, and then mixes his own secondary tints. He brushes quasi-translucent colored circles one by one onto the canvas – one layer at a time – for six layers, resulting in a distinctive kaleidoscope of color and form that dazzles the eye. Six layers are also built up in the new, densely constructed spray paintings.However, these paintings are conceived as “negatives” to the original color field paintings; the space around the circle is painted in layers to define the grid of transparent, poker-chip sized “positive” holes.To create the oil pastel works, Giannetti scribes hundreds of layered, hand-printed empty circles using a ready-made glass jar modified to be a printing stylus.Drawing and printing are fused through this process, thus creating an intriguing dialogue between the two.
Giannetti’s signature six-layer circular variations have evolved into a deeper multi-level observation, revealing more of the artist’s process and affinity for the unexpected.The sum of these parts, installed as a complete grid-like whole, recall Mondrian’s compositional structures and provide a welcome friction between the circles as they are set into a square pattern.
Giannetti’s work has been featured in several solo and group exhibitions, including icandy: Current Abstraction in Southern California at the Cypress College Art Gallery, Cypress, CA; Tilted Balance at Collectors Contemporary, Singapore; a solo show at Gallery 555 at the Oakland Museum of California at City Center; and the group exhibition Flatlanders (curated by Renny Pritikin) at Richard L. Nelson Gallery, University of California at Davis.His work was also featured in the traveling 2004/05 exhibition Neo Mod: Recent Northern California Abstraction, which originated at the CrockerArt Museum, Sacramento, CA, and continued on to several other venues in California and Korea.Giannetti’s work has been written about in ARTnews, SF Weekly, Artweek, The Houston Post, The Oregonian, and California Home & Design. His work is in the public collection of Adobe Systems in San Jose, CA.Giannetti received his MFA from the University of California at Irvine, did post-graduate work at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, and received his BA from the University of California at Davis.