The exhibition, Antonietta Grassi: Hand-woven Memories, explores how Antonietta Grassi structuralizes amorphous memories and emotions in her visual way. Grassi has been committed to the practice of abstract painting, where multi-layered surfaces composed of colors, shapes, and lines represent her personal memories and relevant emotions.
Grassi has vivid childhood memories of her mother and aunts sewing all the time. In her memory, her mother’s sewing room was strewn with fabrics and patterns, where her mother made clothing for young Grassi, encouraging her to choose the fabric and patterns. Along with the memories of her mother sewing, Grassi also had memories of the architectural plans and building sites which permeated her childhood; her father was a builder and she was surrounded by the process of building structures from their conception to their completion. The combination of these memories impacted her work and turned her gaze to abstract painting from a textile designer.
Her paintings reflect her personal experience and events around her. In particular, her parents’ loss had a profound impact on her work to be more structured. It led her to explore fragments of deconstructed and nonsensical space through hallowed cubes, skewed geometric, translucent shapes, and thread-like lines that connect them all.
Currently, Grassi focused on exploring the notion of obsolescence and how not only objects and technologies become obsolete and forgotten, but so do jobs and people. For instance, Requiem for a Computress (2018) describes the women in the first half of the twentieth century who lived in the intersection between the prevalent woven textiles, jacquard textile and a mechanical general-purpose computer, Analytical engine. Her interest in “obsolescence” reflects an attempt to reconcile her twentieth-century brain and personal history with her 21st-century experiences in an increasingly dematerialized world.