Paola Cassais - Celebrating Together

August 17, 2019

Paola Cassais - Celebrating Together

An Inspirational Upbringing

Birthplace of Dante, Machiavelli and Galileo: there are few cities in the world as influential on Western culture as Florence, Italy. As well as its celebrated contemporary role as the capital of sun-drenched Tuscany: it is the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance – its progeny including no less than Botticelli, Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci amongst other visionaries.

Raised amongst the great museums, breath-taking scenery and world-class fashion of this city: artist Paola Cassais began her career as an interior designer and window-dresser, developing her keen eye for the expressive qualities of colour, texture and shape. Encouraged by her parents (also artists), Paola painted in her spare time at every opportunity, enjoying the freewheeling bohemian lifestyle of a vibrant community of painters.

Paola Cassais - Spaces of Solitude

This sense of belonging and extended family was a huge influence on Paola. As well as instilling in her a fierce belief in the power of communities and groups to effect change: it also led to her becoming an exponent in an artistic movement: Figurative Informalism. The free use of real-life subjects (as opposed to abstract motifs) for expressive purposes.

During her formative painting years in the 1990’s; Paola became acutely aware of issues facing the environment and the role of local communities to play a part in the wider social/political arena. This began to further evolve her art as she began to depict landscapes and crowd scenes – thus beginning the famous beach scenes that have made her sought after today: the ‘spaces of solitude’ series.

Her approach is simple and elegant: meticulously detailed sand and water create a dazzling backdrop for her crowds of figures: joyous, impasto shapes of pure colour; literally popping against the canvas. The bright, slightly naïve nature of these characters belie a spectacular attention to detail, the figures employed in a remarkable variety of activities from dog-walking to cycling to paragliding. Like every nostalgic beach holiday the viewer has ever had; filling the frame with an irresistible sense of energy and movement.

A linked interest in urban spaces and an increasing love for abstraction has led to Paola’s latest collection – the Heart series. In these paintings, the beach landscape is eschewed in favour of a neutral canvas; allowing the vibrant colours of the painted figures to contrast vividly. Paola’s trademark crowd scenes gather in a variety of heart shapes to celebrate her omnipresent themes of community, support and togetherness.






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