Lockdown (spring, 2020) is part of the Lifelines series, which connects Grassi’s interest in analog technology, textiles, and the link between computers and the codes of modernist abstraction. The series honours women scientists and mathematicians who pioneered early computer programming and pays homage to artists such as Helen Frankenthaler and Agnes Martin. The Lifelines series is rooted in history and research, yet open to chance and impromptu meanderings through Grassi’s painting process. Lockdown reflects her meditative practice of painting and drawing lines for countless hours as a marker of time during the pandemic.
Antonietta Grassi’s paintings, which at first appear as hard-edged geometric abstractions, are composed of multi-layered surfaces in which the touch of the hand is paramount. Grassi paints intuitively derived forms intersected by òne, thread-like lines, creating works in which textile, technology, and the twentieth-century history of painting collide. Through her nuanced palette, she explores colour and light to create perceptual spaces drawn from memory and imagination. Grassi’s works have been featured in solo and group exhibitions at museums and galleries in Canada, the United States, and Europe. Her work is in public, corporate, and private collections, including the Musée National des beaux-arts du Québec, Global Aöairs Canada, Archives Ontario, Groupe Desjardins, Yamana Gold, the Stewart Hall Art Gallery (Pointe Claire, Quebec), the Boston Public Library, and the CALQ. Grassi has participated in residencies including the Studios at Mass MoCA, the Banö Centre for the Arts, the Vermont Studio Centre, and Le Symposium International d’art contemporain de Baie-Saint-Paul. She has received grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec. She holds a BFA from Concordia University and an MFA from the Université du Québec à Montréal.