“Slow Painting” was on view at the Richard Gray Gallery from July 14 through September 10.

Backyard: Cherry Tree, 2015, oil on canvas

The Chicago art scene has a little Shangri-la called the Richard Gray Gallery, a legend in the American art scene. “Slow Painting” by Chicago Artist John Santoro fits well into this gallery’s standard of elegance and integrity.
His paintings revisit the issues of French painting that were put aside when New York replaced Paris as the center of contemporary art. John
Santoro shares a respect for Bonnard and de Stael. He follows a similar direction as the Californian painter Richard Diebenkorn, whose work also
respects the options offered by French Painting. Santoro’s brush, interworking lavish paint, explores the diversity of light found in the landscape.
The paintings are comfortable and do not indulge in expansive gestures that challenge the confining edge of the picture frame.
This slow painting requires a long attention span from the viewer—a time to savor. Santoro entices the viewer to share the steps employed for
painterly development. John Santoro reclaims the idea that the landscape is necessary for the human psyche—an idea now popular in the environmental movement.This artist, in referencing nature, rekindles the romanticism and the idea of aesthetic adventure.
John Santoro is an artist who seeks refuge in what many call traditional art. Although he taps into an avant-garde of yesterday, John Santoro
avoids the banalities of our time. In this, he belongs to the noble tradition of the Richard Gray Gallery.

Derek Guthrie, Publisher

Volume 31 number 1, September / October 2016 p 35

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