These four artists, all associated with the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts as students, teachers, and mentors, have an affinity with each other in terms of the scale of their work and their approach to content and use of medium. Their work touches the viewer in dramatic ways through rich, saturated color, meticulous line and brushwork, and the mature and confident approach each takes to articulating his or her message. The dramatic visual dialogues that take place among these paintings and works on paper are grounded in the great traditions of the academy.
There is a common fundamental language that emerges when you are academy trained, and this foundation has served these artists over the arc of their long careers. Murray Dessner creates landscapes of color whose layers both recede and explode. They are atmospheric and grounded with elements that evoke land, sea, and sky. Elizabeth Osborne’s highly saturated compositions make use of vivid color combinations and rhythmic brush strokes. Architectural elements from interiors and exteriors and horizon lines help to create a sense of place. Bruce Samuelson’s work, while more intimate in scale than that of his colleagues, conveys a similar sense of grandeur. Using the structure of the human torso as his leitmotif, Samuelson poses and manipulates the body with a deft and fluid line, occasionally breaking down component parts into abstract yet identifiable forms. Vincent Desiderio creates narrative works that incorporate life lessons and events. His detailed representations recall the drama of Baroque painting even as he examines contemporary themes and issues.