Sprezzatura

Breezeway, Ray Hassard

Breezeway, Ray Hassard

My favorite painting in the current two-person show at Oxford Gallery, looks both effortless and masterful. I love the way the pickup’s two tail lights vary in terms of the color’s saturation, which somehow looks entirely realistic and yet may just be an artifact of Hassard’s confident brushwork. Or the sun is hitting one directly and not the other. I’m guessing that’s a riding lawnmower in the foreground, shaded, under the arch, but it doesn’t matter what it is. Identifiable or not, it’s perfect. He’s one of the best pastel artists in the country, and most of the work on exhibit here is pastel, but he’s just as good with oil. Also in the show are Patricia Tribestone’s intensely colorful still lifes. Coming next month to Oxford: two artists I love in a three-man show: Rick Harrington and Matt Klos.

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