The American Landscape: An Endangered Species debuts at the Louis Bernal Gallery

Pima Post

At 6 p.m. on Feb. 9, Dr. Julie Sasse, chief curator of the Tucson Museum of Art, will give a lecture of Joseph DiGiorgio’s massive 24-panel Grand Canyon painting. 

The painting will be on display at the Louis Bernal Gallery at Pima Community College’s West Campus until March 10.

The 110-foot panoramic painting is designed using 24-by-7-foot tall panels, each of which represents one hour in a day of the Grand Canyon’s deep, narrow valley with steep sides. 

Of the 24 panels, Tucson Museum of Art is lending 19 to the Louis Bernal Gallery so art lovers can study and appreciate DiGiorgio’s style. 

Sasse will talk about DiGiorgio’s monumental paintings of American landscapes in what has been called a Neo-Pointillist style, an updated version of Pointillism, first developed by 19th-century post-Impressionist artists Georges Seurat and Paul Signac. Pointillism was done by painting small, separate dots of unmixed colors side by side that from a distance visually blend together. 

“DiGiorgio developed his dots as elliptical dashes, creating even more energy,” Sasse said. “His dots, in multiple layers, made him a colorist.” 

Luminism, Tonalism, Abstract Expressionism, and Color Field painting movements influenced DiGiorgio, “which makes his work fresh and lively rather than an appropriation of one style from the past,” Sasse said. 

DiGiorgio, born in 1930 in Brooklyn, N.Y., studied art at the Brooklyn Museum of Art School and the Art Students League.

“He traveled all over the country to find interesting subject matter, often portraying a scene at a close-up view rather than a sweeping vista to create a feeling of intimacy with the land,” Sasse said. “At other times, he captured sweeping vistas to express the grandeur of nature. But while he was known for his mighty landscapes and unique elliptical dashes of paint, he saw himself as a colorist as much as a lover of the land. In this talk, I will discuss some of the various series he created, including many of the sites that he visited with his dear friend Tucson collector Dan Leach.”

Event Information
Artist Reception: 5-7 p.m. Feb. 9
Lecture: 6 p.m. Feb 9 
Who: Dr. Julie Sasse, chief curator at Tucson Museum of Art 
Where: Louis Bernal Gallery, PCC West Campus, need address
Contact the Bernal Gallery Box office: 520-206-6986
Gallery Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Fridays