We are very excited to announce to our OPG blog followers and readers our fall 2013 show, Alessandro Mastro-Valerio: A Retrospective. We will celebrate Mastro-Valerio’s captivating and varied printmaking career with an exhibition of more than 20 prominent works from the Gallery’s collection. On view from September 20 through November 9, 2013, the show includes Motif in Seascape, the 1949 Cannon Prize winner, as well as several of his original printing plates. We will celebrate the opening of Alessandro Mastro-Valerio: A Retrospective with a free nighttime reception on Friday, September 20, 2013, from 5-8pm at the gallery.
From his earliest drypoints to his later experimentation with mezzotints and aquatints, Alessandro Mastro-Valerio (1887-1953) studied and explored the female form in his 22 years of printmaking. Stumbling upon a display of mezzotint engravings at the Century of Progress Exposition in Chicago, 1933, Mastro-Valerio was intrigued and enchanted by the printing method. Mastering the medium quickly, he published his first mezzotint in 1934, and one of his earliest mezzotints, Morning, was chosen for Fine Prints of the Year in 1935. Rich in tonality, Mastro-Valerio’s prints glow and breathe, and are filled with a quiet emotion— one that resonates deeply with viewers and his admirers.
His two brief departures from the female nude occurred in the years of 1931 to 1933, when he produced mostly landscapes, and in the last several years of his printmaking career, from 1950 to 1952, when his prints were pure abstractions, created from continuous or single-bite aquatints. Mastro-Valerio also experimented with scale, producing several small works of reclining nudes, each on plates no larger than two-inch squares. Enticing in both miniature form or on a larger scale, Mastro-Valerio’s prints have an undeniable magnetism and draw.
We are thrilled with the opportunity to introduce his amazing work to DC’s art community and OPG friends and followers. The retrospective will illustrate the extremely varied and dynamic range of Mastro-Valerio’s prints, and offer many styles ( and price ranges) for interested collectors. While we are still in the planning stages for the show, our website has been updated with all of his prints. You can see them here.
Make sure to check back on the OPG blog for more details as the show comes together, including information regarding the opening night party and reception!