“As Was and As Is”
works on paper
May 21 – June 6
RECEPTION FOR THE ARTIST
Saturday, May 28, 4-7pm
Lauren Clark Fine Art presents “As Was and As Is”, works on paper by Franco Pellegrino. In the late 1960’s George Miller of Miller Supply in Pittsfield, MA purchased reams and reams of “reject” paper from Mead paper, later coined “Miller’s Special”. The paper was meant for use in photography but inconsistencies in the heft of the paper made it unworkable for the intended use.
After storing the paper for almost 10 years, in the late ’70’s Miller began cutting it up and selling it in large rolls in 15 to 20 foot lengths. As a painter, Pellegrino was intrigued by the sheer size, and as it turned out, the wonderful texture of the “no good for photography” paper. And although some of it had been damaged in storage he found inspiration in the damaged parts and often integrated them into the many large mixed media paintings he produced in the 1980’s and 90’s.
As time went on the paper became available only in smaller and smaller sizes and only in pad form. Pellegrino has continued to work on this special paper and in addition to the large paintings the show will be highlighting, there are many small paintings on this same paper making their gallery debut.
In many of the works in this collection Pellegrino manages to integrate drawing with painting in a most striking and effective way. The artist includes figurative, landscape and abstract work in his repertoire, some bright, some dark, but all with a wonderfully free and expansive feel.
This exhibition of large scale paintings represents the long-term outcome I’ve been working toward for many years. The history of “Miller’s Special Paper” and its many uses will be documented in this exhibit.
The opportunity for me to share these works, completed in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, brings a renewed energy capturing that time period complete with the excitement and urgency to record my reactions to life’s challenges.
The sheer size and durability of this unique paper has allowed me the freedom to express myself both physically and emotionally through various uses of mediums and techniques.