Fabio Gasbarri, Oceans Apart (detail), 2020, oil on canvas. Courtesy of the artist.

Fabio Gasbarri: The Floating World

Artist: Fabio Gasbarri

December 12, 2020 - August 21, 2021
Preston Gallery

You must understand that what I paint are objects thought of in plastic terms: if I close my eyes, I see the objects better than with my eyes open, free of accidental detail; that is what I paint...
- Henri Matisse

With an extensive exhibition history and a studio practice spanning almost 40 years, Cambridge-based artist Fabio Gasbarri is well-known for his carefully-studied depictions of the world around him. In this new body of work, he focuses on the subject of water, using abstracted shapes and marks to convey its qualities of light, colour, and movement.

Gasbarri developed this series of paintings over the last two years, beginning with drawings made directly from nature along the banks of the Grand River. These studies ultimately gave way to a more experimental, intuitive approach. Working in oil on canvas, he borrows techniques from traditional printmaking practices including monoprinting, stenciling, and collography. In these layered compositions, we see the surface and the depths of the water all at once: suggestions of glittering waves above, and fish and plant life in the currents below. In vibrant blue and green hues punctuated by oranges, reds, purples, and bold black lines, repeated motifs combine in new ways across each canvas, constantly moving and changing, like water.

  • Fabio Gasbarri, The Floating World, Photographed by Scott Lee, 2021
    Fabio Gasbarri, The Floating World, Photographed by Scott Lee, 2021
  • Fabio Gasbarri, The Floating World, Photographed by Scott Lee, 2021
    Fabio Gasbarri, The Floating World, Photographed by Scott Lee, 2021
  • Fabio Gasbarri, The Floating World, Photographed by Scott Lee, 2021
    Fabio Gasbarri, The Floating World, Photographed by Scott Lee, 2021
  • Fabio Gasbarri, The Floating World, Photographed by Scott Lee, 2021
    Fabio Gasbarri, The Floating World, Photographed by Scott Lee, 2021
  • Fabio Gasbarri, The Floating World, Photographed by Scott Lee, 2021
    Fabio Gasbarri, The Floating World, Photographed by Scott Lee, 2021
  • Fabio Gasbarri, The Floating World, Photographed by Scott Lee, 2021
    Fabio Gasbarri, The Floating World, Photographed by Scott Lee, 2021
  • Fabio Gasbarri, The Floating World, Photographed by Scott Lee, 2021
    Fabio Gasbarri, The Floating World, Photographed by Scott Lee, 2021
  • Fabio Gasbarri, The Floating World, Photographed by Scott Lee, 2021
  • Fabio Gasbarri, The Floating World, Photographed by Scott Lee, 2021
  • Fabio Gasbarri, The Floating World, Photographed by Scott Lee, 2021
  • Fabio Gasbarri, The Floating World, Photographed by Scott Lee, 2021
  • Fabio Gasbarri, The Floating World, Photographed by Scott Lee, 2021
  • Fabio Gasbarri, The Floating World, Photographed by Scott Lee, 2021
  • Fabio Gasbarri, The Floating World, Photographed by Scott Lee, 2021