Gross McCleaf Gallery
127 S Sixteenth Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Current Exhibitions

Max Mason, Heading Home


Max Mason
Action Painting

May 3 - 31, 2019
Opening Reception: Friday, May 3, 5 - 7 pm
Max Mason, Heading Home, Oil on canvas, 40 x 64 inches  


I recently discovered a letter my father wrote to me that relates how much baseball meant to him, his father and his grandfather. The letter made me appreciate that the love of baseball in my family extends four generations-dating back to the 19th century. When I started painting baseball subjects in the early 1980's, I had no idea I would still be doing so nearly 40 years later. That legacy of love for the game must have fueled my work.


As a child I was drawn to the action of the game. I can vividly recall the intense fantasies I would conjure up of pitching, batting, and fielding in beautifully sunlit stadiums full of roaring fans. I was the relief pitcher walking in from the dark shade of the bull pen to squelch a late inning rally, I was the pinch hitter emerging from the safety of the dugout to make solid contact with an outside fastball, sending it over the first baseman down the right field line clearing the bases. I was the shortstop scooping the hard-hit grounder up the middle, stepping on second and firing to first base to complete the double play.


My earlier baseball paintings were mostly about the light, space and stillness experienced right before something happens-the anticipation of physical action. They make use of tried and true artistic conventions as demonstrated so masterfully by Thomas Eakins in his masterpiece “Max Schmidt and his Single Scull.”


The paintings in this show are action paintings. They are a throwback to a certain twelve-year-old boy’s imagination when he was surrounded by the love of family at his grandparents’ house in suburban St. Louis.  They are about the action, the fantasy and the hope of that time, when all things were possible, when a scrawny twelve-year-old boy could picture himself winning the game while the crowd cheered.- Max Mason (III), 4\18\2019


Max Mason has been exhibiting with Gross McCleaf Gallery since 1986.  He is a graduate of Vassar College and has an MFA from the University of Pennsylvania where he studied with Neil Welliver. Mason's paintings have been included in the United States Art in Embassies program and his work is in the collections of The Butler Art Institute (Youngstown, OH), the University of Pennsylvania, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.  




Giovanni Casadei, Red Ranunculus


Giovanni Casadei

May 3 - 31, 2019
Opening Reception: Friday, May 3, 5 - 7 pm
Giovanni Casadei, Red Ranunculus, Oil on panel, 12.5 x 14 inches  



My approach to painting is to communicate to the viewer my love for life and human beings, through the expression of my feelings, emotions and passions that are inspired by the visual world around me...I found that in this last two years my work is changing. My still life paintings display a more dramatic light and convey a more profound, contemplative feeling. In my marines, you will find a deeper intimacy, as I continue to visit Ocean City, NJ now every summer for the past twelve years. - Giovanni Casadei


Giovanni Casadei infuses each of his paintings with love and passion - whether it is a still life in the intimate setting of his studio or an en plein air depiction of the breath-taking expanse of his summer retreat in Ocean City, New Jersey. "Abrazo" is Spanish for "embrace" which is how the artist enthusiastically connects with his varied subjects and how Casadei wants the viewer to connect with his paintings. "Abrazo" is also a dance term for how two partners meet and connect in the tango - the dance also being a passion of Casadei. In both cases, emotion, attention, and immediacy are essential between two partners or between and artist and his subject. It should be no surprise that Casadei's paintings portray not only what he sees but how he feels when he is making a painting. Through the connection with his subject, he changes that which could be considered ordinary into luminescent concertos that reveal his sensitive touch and strength.


Giovanni Casadei began his studies at the Scuola Libera del Nudo (Free School for Drawing) in Rome, Italy, where he also studied at the Academy of Fine Arts. After moving to Philadelphia, he received a Certificate in Painting from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 1992. His works have been exhibited in many solo and group exhibitions all across the country and he currently teaches painting at the Fleischer Art Memorial. Casadei is the recipient of many awards for his work, including the Berthe M. Goldberg Award from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 2006. He has been represented by the Gross McCleaf Gallery for over ten years.