On display now: Robert Marchessault's "Pini di Sardegna"
Artwork details: Robert Marchessault, 'Pini di Sardenga,' oil on panel, 44 X 44 in., $11,000.
On display now at Bau-Xi Toronto: this tranquil painting by Marchessault, who has dedicated his practice to exploring the endless variations of the tree form for decades. But these trees are not simply painted versions of real spaces. Indeed, the most striking and poetic aspect of Marchessault’s work is in the fact that his trees are imagined, hybrid species, painted from the artist’s memory.
Marchessault's tree figures begin as swift, gestural lines of paint, with branches and foliage growing out of this initial abstraction as organically as nature itself, what the artist describes as “the way energy flows up and through a tree.” Together, these explorations lend a distinct, contemporary freshness to Marchessault’s recent work, and demonstrate the artist’s willingness to investigate the limits of his subject matter while maintaining what he describes as the ability of the tree to evoke “universal yet intensely personal” responses in the viewer.
'Pini di Sardenga' is certainly a romantic example of this vision. One cannot help but envision these two trees as a pair, each full of life and supporting the other with grace and stoicism.