NEW YORK, NEW YORK – AMERINGER | McENERY | YOHE is pleased to announce that John Sonsini is now represented by the gallery. An exhibition of new works will open in Spring 2016.
John Sonsini embraces the painterly tradition. Thick, generous brush strokes add to his humanistic yet theatrical approach to his work.
His primary subject is the male, Latino, day worker in Los Angeles. Sonsini began taking annual work trips to Mexico City in the early 1980s. Captivated by Mexico City’s public art containing portraiture displaying Mexican history and culture by José Clemente Orozco, Diego Rivera, etc., Sonsini found himself seeing similar faces on the streets of Los Angeles.
In Sonsini’s work, the day laborers are removed from their context and painted without defined backgrounds, without clear, individual identities. Sonsini simultaneously looks to honestly represent the subject yet have the sitter be instantly familiar. At times, Sonsini will include a backpack, chair, hat, etc. with the subject, but focuses on telling personal stories, not work stories.
Features of Sonsini’s figures are exaggerated and stylized, large feet, short torsos, etc. He finds it easier to paint individuals he does not personally know. In the beginning of his career, Sonsini preferred the wet-on-wet method. He painted quick and wanted a sitter until the work was complete. He has transitioned into lengthier sittings allowing his subject to leave when they please. In effect, Sonsini allowed his stylized method to grow and strengthen as the individuals became more representative.
In addition to the day laborers, Sonsini paints still lifes of simple objects in the same textural, expressive manner.
John Sonsini was born in 1950 in Rome, NY. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1975 from California State University, Northridge.
He has had numerous solo exhibitions nationally. Recent solo exhibitions include “John Sonsini,” Patrick Painter Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; “John Sonsini: New Paintings,” Bentley Gallery, Phoenix, AZ; “John Sonsini: Paintings,” Kucera Gallery, Seattle, WA; “Los Vaqueros,” James Kelly Contemporary, Santa Fe, NM; “Broad Reminders: The Paintings of John Sonsini,” ACME., Los Angeles, CA; “Portraits from Los Angeles,” Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art, Utah State University, Logan, UT; Cheim & Read, New York, NY; “John Sonsini,” Anthony Grant Gallery, New York, NY; and “Cerca Series: John Sonsini,” Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, CA.
Recent group exhibitions include Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, FL. / The Collection of Beth de Woody; “MOCA: Selections from The Permanent Collection / Sept 2014 – July 2015,” Los Angeles, CA; “Art of the West: Autry Museum of Western Art,” Los Angeles, CA / 2013 – 2016; “The Human Touch: Selections from the RBC Collection,” Scottsdale Museum of Art Arizona, Scottsdale, AZ; “Mr & Mrs,” James Salomon Contemporary, New York, NY; “All I Want is a Picture,” Angles Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; “SFMOMA: Contemporary Painting, 1960 to the Present: Selections from The Permanent Collection, SFMOMA,” San Francisco, CA; “Works of Paper,” ACME., Los Angeles, CA; “Personal Identities: Contemporary Portraits,” University Art Gallery, Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park, CA; “Private Display,” New York Academy of Art, New York, NY; “Disquieted,” Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR; “The Human Touch,” Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, NE; “Posture,” Peter Blake Gallery, Laguna Beach, CA; and “With You I Want to Live,” Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale, Fort Lauderdale, FL.
His work may be found in the public collections of the Addison Gallery of American Art, Philips Academy, Andover, MA; Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham, AL; Cornell University, Ithaca, NY; The Broad Art Foundation, Santa Monica, CA; The Frances Young Tang Museum, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY; Hammer Museum, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA; Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, Seattle, WA; High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, CA; Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Johnson County Community College, Overland Park, KS; Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art, Utah State University, Logan, UT; Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA; Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, CA; The Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.; The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY; and The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY.
John Sonsini lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.
Image (detail): Christian, 2013, Oil on canvas, 72 x 60 inches, 182.9 x 152.4 cm