Oceanside Museum of Art (OMA)

Oceanside Museum of Art (OMA)
OMA occupies the venerable 1934 former City of Oceanside City Hall designed by pioneering San Diego architect Irving Gill and the Frederick Fisher designed Central Pavillion opened in 2008.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Commesso Made in America "Gemstone Fine Art"

Commesso Made in America,“Gemstone Fine Art” is the first museum exhibition of the American made fine art of creating commesso di pietre dure e tenere, stone mosaic pictures. The artwork is made from precise placement of hand cut rocks and gemstones, with an occasional shell or other hard material. Pietre Dure means hard stone, such as agates, jades, jaspers, and chalcedony. Pietre Tenere means softer stone such as marble, lapis lazuli, malachite, and turquoise. Each stone has to be hand cut and placed into the mosaic painting without grout, requiring countless hours of intense concentration and skill. The exhibition will be on view in the Parker Gallery at Oceanside Museum of Art March 3rd through May 1, 2009. Guest curator and artist Dennis Paul Batt will discuss the process and history behind Commesso during an informal “Meet the Artist” on Saturday, April 25th at 2:00 p.m. “Meet the Artist” is free with museum admission and complimentary for members of Oceanside Museum of Art as a benefit of membership.

The American style of Commesso was initiated by a group of dedicated artists beginning in the 1930s who developed their own techniques using whatever tools and machinery were available and reached its peak in the late 1960s – 1980s. Today Commesso is a nearly extinct art form with few American practitioners and is rarely exhibited. Assembled for this exhibition are some of the finest contemporary Californian Commesso artists such as the late William Grundke, one of the most celebrated Commesso artists; his son Conrad Grundke, an award winning Commesso artist who currently teaches Lapidary and Intarsia at Saddleback College; Charlotte Burk; Anne Timmins; Amy Spencer; and San Diego artists Dennis Paul Batt and the late Jonny Johnson. To learn more about the American version of this art form visit www.americanmastersofstone.com.

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