Cannella conceived the works in Earth, Sky and Sea specifically for exhibition in New York. Paintings in the exhibition take as their theme the most elemental of subjects and the intangible phenomenon that surround them. Some paintings incorporate maps of imagined continents and territories (Cannella began painting maps during the first Gulf War, when CNN began broadcasting maps that tracked the trail of carnage in Iraq). In one painting, the earth is surrounded by a varnish-yellow sky that is either encroaching on the planet or receding from its atmosphere. Cathedrals continue to assume importance in his new works, dotting imagined territories and suggesting a fantastical pilgrimage route for an unknown religion.

As in much of his work of the past, Cannella continues to set the representational against the abstract, the recognizable against the unrevealed. The scraped surfaces of the paintings are richly tactile and suggest the wearing, corrosive effects of time. The sense of calm and serenity in these lyrical works embody a paradox: light, air, and atmosphere – things that can't be held or grasped – are more precisely rendered and feel more real than the water or earth that make up the physical world.

Pizzi Cannella Earth Sky & Sea

  • by Pizzi Cannella (Author)