March 24-April 14
This story was featured in the March 2013 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Order the Southwest Art March 2013 print issue, or get the Southwest Art March 2013 digital download now…Or better yet, just subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss a story!
In his show this month at Howard/Mandville Gallery, Renato Muccillo continues to explore the subject matter he knows best: the marshes, bogs, and farmlands not far from his front door in Vancouver, British Columbia. The rural region he returns to often is not only picturesque but also known for its fertile soil where blueberries and cranberries flourish. This is Muccillo’s second solo show at Howard/Mandville Gallery, his only U.S. gallery.
Owner Pat Howard is enthusiastic about the show—the artist has a cadre of dedicated collectors and fans. Last year Muccillo’s solo show featuring his signature moody, meditative landscapes sold out in 24 hours. “In more than 20 years of working in the gallery, I have never experienced an artist whose work so captures and holds the attention of its viewers like Renato’s work does,” Howard says. “His impeccably rendered paintings exhibit both beauty and grace, but more importantly, there’s an unexplained magical quality to them that cannot be denied.”
The show opens on March 24 with a reception from 12 to 3 p.m., and viewers can expect to see 25 to 30 new paintings by the Canadian artist. Howard also notes that there are more large paintings on view this year than in Muccillo’s previous show.
Muccillo is fond of calling his painting style “controlled impressionism.” It’s also tonalist with an emphasis on abstract forms and marks. “My style is very controlled. I’m not painting haphazardly,” he says. “Everything I do is with intent and motive. I am trying to paint something that is painterly in style and feel.”
Collectors familiar with his work know that Muccillo also relishes contrasting the natural beauty of farmlands and rivers with the vulgarity of industry or the manmade. For example, he is intrigued by the simultaneous offensiveness of smoke stacks and the beauty of the sunlit smoke itself—a terrible beauty. Such duality is a regular source of inspiration for the artist. Thus his paintings, at times, possess an ethereal quality juxtaposed with a certain inherent tension.
Muccillo is also interested in the dramatic effects that color can have on viewers. He feels driven to analyze this phenomenon as well as understand the effects of elements like light and atmosphere on color. His artistic mission is to decipher and then record these effects in his landscapes.
More recently he has also focused on what he calls “whittling down” sprawling open spaces and taking a close-up look at vegetation and shorelines and how all the different geological elements work together. “I am always trying to convey something with emotional content using the platform of the landscape,” he says. “I want viewers to be open to the paintings and take the time to see things—to look at the beauty of the small details.” —Bonnie Gangelhoff
Featured in the March 2013 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
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