News & Notices

Library Art Display By Jerry Ross

Our current painting exhibit are works by Jerry Ross from Eugene, OR. He has several studios, one in Eugene proper and another in a barn on an alpaca farm on the edge of town.

How to describe these new works on exhibit? Mostly they are small colorful landscapes done in a “contemporary impressionist” style that the artist calls “American verismo.” These works are inspired by ideas about painting as a way of “seeing” differently. These ideas were derived from 19th century Italian Risorgimento artists who were seeking new ways of expressing works that were both genuinely “Italian” while also painting in dabs they called “macchie.” A single dab was called “macchia.”

Like the “I Macchiaioli” artists of Tuscany that created the verismo style, Ross has kept to what was their litmus test for success: whether or not the final painting has the spontaneity and truth of the original sketch. As a result, many of Ross’ paintings retain that sketch like appearance and may appear “non-finito” (or unfinished) to the uneducated eye. When one realizes that is the whole point of the artist’s work and the effect is intended to come across as such, one can enjoy the works as they are, hopefully fresh and exciting.

Jerry Ross is mostly self-taught, although he had some training when he was a young child. He and his wife, Angela, traveled to Italy frequently and Ross eventually worked and exhibited in Rome and Milan. He founded “Club Macchia” to hold exhibits, conduct workshops and painting study sessions, which he continues to make available in Brownsville (Brownsville Art Association) and in Eugene.

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