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The Westfield Athenaeum
The Athenaeum is pleased to announce an exhibit of the art of Frank Cressotti. The show will feature a selection of paintings illuminating Cressotti’s explorations over the last several years. The exhibit will open on Tuesday, November 1st and will continue until January 14, 2023.
Cressotti initiated his study of art at Gettysburg College in 1963. “I had always liked to make art as a kid and in high school,” Cressotti commented. “But I had never really studied it.” While at Gettysburg College he embarked on an intense course of study with Ingolf Qualley, the Head of the Art Department. Cressotti remembered that, “He was a devilishly difficult taskmaster…In drawing and painting studios his agenda was driven by French Impressionism which transitioned into Post-Impressionism and culminated in Cubism.”
From this intense study of late nineteenth century French art and early twentieth century modernism Cressotti was able to develop a solid context for his own original style. Later, Cressotti was influenced by several mid-century American painters, especially Jasper Johns, one of the most important American artists of the 1950s and 1960s.
These influences deeply inform his current work. “This show is about how I see paint as a vehicle for creating an image, and how it works as an expressive presence in its own right. To emphasize the primacy of paint I am including both paintings which feature images as well as paintings which are purely about the painting process. I have never been able to separate the two directions. I always believed that they were complementary.”
Cressotti further elaborates on his style, saying that “the object is to have the paint create a visual structure. I would like the viewer to grasp the primary value of the paint as the vehicle for the expression of that structure.” He goes on to say that he “generally chooses subject matter that is interesting for its shape and presence. I prefer simple, easily improvised forms such as rocks, stones, or tree stumps. But I also am partial to certain figure types and portraits.”