Saturday, December 15, 2012

Margit Sampogna's Search for Reality

Margit Sampogna's classical still life rendering of urn with fruit, nuts and garlic is a striking painting done in the classical style.

The work is carefully composed with a variety of interesting geometric patterns playing off one another to emphasize and draw attention to specific elements. I like the way the fruit, nuts and garlic flow from a broad base upwards upward to a trumpet-flute opening and from there through the upper urn.

The velvet background cloth drape has a loose triangular design and I like the way it bunches along the back of the beam to emphasize the items gathered around the urn's base. It also creates dramatic tension and emphasis which heightens the focus on the urn and the articles around it.

Purple has been known through the ages as an expensive, carefully kept secret. The purple cloth rests on a roughly hewn, earth hued beam. The urn which is the largest single object in the painting is strikingly ordinary. the base of the pedestal bowl is irregular, and its not hard to imagine that the surface of the urn has a patina of fine dust  on it. Notice, the rust stain which runs from the right handle, down along its side. Margit skillfully arranges the urn so the burnt sienna stain is in the direct light and this makes it all the more noticeable.

The contrast extends downward to the clove of garlic. The garlic skin is dry are flaky and there is a trade-off with the urn since they both have the same approximate hue and value.

I am intrigued too by the trade off in implications.  We cannot see the sense of taste but green grapes are not usually as sweet as rich red grapes and garlic has its own strong personality. So there is no built in "sweetness factor" in these two items.

There is also a ricocheting  tension between value and baseness. The rather ordinary urn is gussied up with a crest.  The common elements of wear and tear, and unpolished roughness is found in  dried garlic skin and broken lines along  the base pedestal. This doesn't just happen by accident. Its part of Margit's overall design to heighten realism.

Just when we think that ordinary and common elements  wins out over elegance, style and class we discover that the urn's crest sits in the critical focal centre of the painting. See how the grapevine points like a bony finger towards the crest.

The painting is done in oils and its 12"x14" in size - a close approximation of the actual sizes of the featured objects. So the painting itself is a pretty close actualization of what Margit sees.

In end realism trumps banal prettiness. Her still life has all the contradictions and contrasts that we find in everyday life. But,in this painting, Margrit gathers it together with a pre- arranged design with appropriate lighting. The result being,that its more than just a painting. Its a metaphorical statement of life itself.

Margrit invites you to click here to visit her website to see more of your works.

Artist's Response
You have such a wonderful writing style and you certainly "see".

1 comment:

  1. Everything that Margrit paints or draws is simply wonderful !
    Thanks for including her on 'A Portrait of the Visual Arts in Canada'.


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