How masters work |

How masters work

Stew Mosberg Special to the Daily
Pino Dangelico is best known for his lovingly illustrated women such as this painting titled "The Visit."

With a name as pretentious as Masters Gallery there’s an awful lot of pressure to deliver. Fortunately the art and artists you can view at this spacious emporium meet the challenge.

Among the best of them is Pino Dangelico, and he will be in residence Feb.12-13 from 4-8 p.m. Taking his inspiration from last century’s Expressionist painters, he treats his subjects with passion and sensuality. Best known for his lovingly illustrated women, Pino found early success as a book-cover artist, completing more than 3,000 book jackets.

His commercial career, begun as a means to support his family after the death of his father, and than to provide for his wife and two children, came to an end 10 years ago when he decided to devote all his time to painting what he loved most – women.

Growing up in Bari, Italy during World War II, and being raised by the women left behind, Pino became infatuated with the female figure and personality. He learned to treat his subjects with a lyrical sensitivity.

Whether they are young women, old men or landscapes, Pino lends a romanticism and allure to all his themes. Looking at one of his canvases, the viewer is drawn in by a quiet serenity, mystery and inner strength. The earthiness embodied in early Fellini or DeSica films is apparent in much of his effort. And Pino remembers the influence these two directors had on him as a young post-war boy growing up in devastated country.

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There is a lot more going on in his paintings than the primary subject. He treats backgrounds with the same reverence he reserves for flowing skirts and windswept hair.

This successful “new” career has also brought him numerous private portrait commissions as well.

Masters Gallery plays host to other noteworthy artists. Gorg, a Russian artist, works in graphite and lithography. He, too, focuses on women as a subject – beautiful women – and his compositions are as lovingly handled as the female form itself. They are sensual, delicate and very sexy to look at.

A personal favorite of mine on display is Carrie Fell. Her serigraphs, pastels, acrylics, and pen-and-ink work brings a new perspective to cowboys and horses. Some of her pieces are done in a spectrum of ice-cream-flavor colors, with light, free-flowing movement similar to the movie poster illustrations of Bob Peak – all done with superb draftsmanship.

For example, a four-panel series she has created incorporates different colorations of the same bucking bronco image. Like most of her work, these renderings have elegantly fluid lines and can be displayed individually or as a group.

Luis Sottel also creates unique paintings. His “Naturalisimo” series utilizes organic objects like seashells and other aquatic matter mixed into the pigment. The black borders surrounding the tropically colored, highly detailed fish and birds, include gold hand lettering telling the story of the subject.

True to its Masters name, the gallery also exhibits work by Pissaro and Dali, as well as contemporary artist Peter Max.

If you are appreciative of present-day abstract art that is fascinating and decorative, take a look at the large-scale work of Adam Stewart. His mixed media canvases are filled with metallic pigments and unusual colors.

Masters has amassed a collection of artists well beyond those mentioned here and is constantly changing their exhibits. Repeat visits may be required to see them all.

Stew Mosberg is a freelance writer and recipient of a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. He is the author of two books on design and can be reached at

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