Lattice studio installation, Yarmouth, Maine
DeGennaro: The Visible and the Invisible
The strongest connection between my Italian American heritage and studio practice is a result of being raised in the Catholic faith. The cavernous space of the cathedral that my family attended, the glowing stained-glass windows that were both narrative and geometric, the hushed community, the soaring organ and choral singing, and the incense gave me a sense of both the visible and the invisible.
Twenty-five years ago, searching for an abstract vocabulary to communicate ideas of ritual, growth, and the passage of time, I began using geometric forms and specifically the image of a dot or bead. The beads are a direct reference to the counting of beads, each bead marking time and the saying of a prayer on the rosary.
When the pandemic erupted this year alongside our increasing awareness of racial inequality and global climate change, I was inspired by a dream image of a lattice. I began a new series of paintings and drawings of a lattice formed with cube shapes, the cubes rendered with colored beads. The lattice image symbolizes the passage of one mode of being to another. The rungs of the lattice representing an ascension of human knowledge and a realization of a new stage of existence.
Lattice (Clarity), 2020, oil and cold wax on linen, 78 x 48 inches
Lattice (Growth), 2020, oil and cold wax on linen, 78 x 48 inches
The artist with her father and grandfather
Grace De Gennaro
Photo: Jerry King