Marc Dalessio’s solo show this summer is full of life, light and love. This wonderful plein air painter is back to travelling the globe with his painting box. This exhibit has works from recent trips to Sweden, Switzerland, Ireland, as well as Italy, and his original home of California. “The Terrace in Dubrovnik” the anchor painting of the show, measuring 47 x 59 inches, is a large-scale virtuosic plein air painting. It depicts a shaded porch, with bright light pressing in on the comfortable subjects, a woman at the table and the dog sleeping at her feet. The variety of lavenders and blues in the shaded walkway, as well as the soft light filtering through the many greens that overhang them is spectacular in its subtlety. Bright dashes of light punctuate the sweet coolness of the shade, with the values and colors perfectly capturing the scene for many generations of viewers to come. Those of us who have followed Dalessio’s life and paintings understand the significance of the peace and harmony that is conveyed in this lyrical painting of his new bride and their dog.
Another major work in this show is the “Evening on Lago Maggiore” which ostensibly is a painting of moored sailboats on this famous lake in Italy. Upon inspection, it’s actually Dalessio’s deep look at that day’s infinite play of light and color between the sky and the water. Tiepolo’s palette of pale pastels blend down into the Prussian blue’s found in the foreground, and this delicate duality of high and low key color is stapled together by the vertical masts of the various boats.
“Sunset, La Torricella” is another major work in this exhibit, influenced heavily by the tonalist tradition. Dalessio limits the foreground to a narrow range of dark and cool colors so as to highlight the waning warmth of the early evening sky. The simplicity of the ridgeline composition, with a faint pathway by the quiet vineyard, one can almost smell the approaching night.
The rest of the show was difficult to curate due to the plethora of excellent oil sketches from Dalessio’s travels. “Path in Maksimir” brings to life a wooded path and “Last Light, Rattvik” demonstrates his excellent draftsmanship. His choices of painting nature’s grandeur as in “Hardanger Fjord”, and everyday life in “Café on the Riddarholmen” show us Dalessio’s keen eye for beauty and truth.
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