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John DiPaolo




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Thursday, 2 May 2024 to Saturday, 1 June 2024
Thursday, 2 May 2024 - 5:30pm to 7:30pm

Dolby Chadwick Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of new work by John DiPaolo.

Like an old-time swashbuckler, John DiPaolo wields large palette knives with an artful recklessness, sometimes using them to lay down swaths of thick oil paint on the surfaces of his canvas supports, other times using them to scrape away parts of those layers and still other times using them to blend colors with surprising subtly. The results of this dance of thrusts and parries are active surfaces that respirate with visual incidents that seem to simultaneously coalesce and dissolve at the same time. Some of DiPaolo’s palette knife strokes are short while others are as long and supple as a snake, allowing the viewer to marvel at the changes of velocity and direction evidenced by those strokes. In all cases, the surfaces of his paintings read as lively froths of energy and substance, looking almost phosphorescent in a way that is reminiscent of the surging of ocean waves observed on a moon lit night.

The formats of DiPaolo’s paintings are almost but not quite square, some slightly vertical and other slightly horizontal, none larger than the maximum reach of the artist’s arms. This means that the paintings are not so big so as to overwhelm the viewer, nor are they small enough to seduce that viewer’s imagination into intimate fantasy worlds. Nonetheless, DiPaolo’s paintings are intimate in other ways. Their surfaces invite the viewer to come close to see what appears to be the active record of painterly gestures evoking microscopic images of epidermal tissue, or geological events viewed from high altitude. These might range from melting glaciers showing fractures to isolated archipelagos of kindred color and gesture set against expanses of creamy white paint.

Even though the surfaces of DiPaolo’s paintings are activated, oftentimes the paintings themselves are configured around stable and even symmetrical shapes. This creates a dramatic tension that keeps the viewer coming back for second and third looks out of concern that he or she might have missed something the first time around. This tension between graphic stability and haptic gestural activity enlivens the paintings, with the visible graphic elements providing a stabilizing anchor that allows the gestural elements to pivot and soar without shattering pictorial coherence.

DiPaolo was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1946. He earned a BFA from San Francisco Art Institute in 1974 and an MA from San Francisco State University in 1977. DiPaolo exhibits across the United States and his works can be found in renowned public and private collections, such as the Achenbach Collection at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco; The San Jose Museum of Art in San Jose, CA; and the Crocker Museum of Art in Sacramento, CA.


Artist ( Description ): 


With their powerful orchestrations of color and gesture, John DiPaolo’s abstract paintings are prisms through which we can reflect upon how we exist in the world as matter and energy. Their intensity and impact reverberate through the body and awaken an upsurge of memories and emotions. About his process, DiPaolo has said: “There is no formula, no method, just a compulsion to experiment.... The interaction with painting is so primal.”

Venue ( Address ): 

210 Post St #205, San Francisco, CA 94108

Dolby Chadwick Gallery , San Francisco

Other events from Dolby Chadwick Gallery

Jennifer Pochinski: No Shallow Pools
07/11/2024 to 08/31/2024
Sandy Ostrau: Confluence
06/06/2024 to 06/29/2024
John DiPaolo
05/02/2024 to 06/01/2024
Jack Zajac: A Retrospective
12/09/2023 to 01/27/2024



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