|American Masterpieces from Dryads Green Gallery
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Reflections at Cape May, Oil on Artist Board, 17 x 23, Signed
Antonio Martino (1902-1988) came from a Philadelphia-based painting family of seven
brothers and one sister: Antonio, Albert, Edmond, Ernest, Filomina, Frank, Giovanni, and
William, all of whom painted--with Antonio and, secondly, Giovanni the most recognized.
They were first under the tutelage of their eldest brother, Frank, who in the late 1920s
founded a commercial art studio. Besides studying with his elder brother Antonio also studied
at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.. In addition to this strong background,
Martino also absorbed the light, color and atmosphere of Impressionism through Redfield
Antonio and Frank, sometimes accompanied by Giovanni, worked en pleine air from
Manayunk, a hilly mill town along the Schuylkill River to New Hope in Bucks County. Early
in his career he decided to concentrate on landscapes, and painted along the Darby Creek
and later focused on the upper Delaware River. Later he did a broader range of East coast
subjects, gradually developing his personal style of solid, simplified compositions in rich tone
and color. Martino lived in Newtown Square until 1971, when he moved to Thousand Oaks,
California. There he painted west coast landscapes and seascapes in the Santa Barbara and
Westlake Village areas. He painted until a few months before his death in 1988 [this is the
Martino's talent was manifest early on, and at the age of twenty-three, he had two paintings
accepted in a PAFA Annual Exhibition. Martino went on to win prizes in Philadelphia at the
Art Club, the Sketch Club, PAFA, the Philadelphia Sesquicentennial (1926), and in New York
at the National Academy of Design. In his lifetime Martino amassed more than eighty
awards for his oils and watercolors, and had ten solo exhibitions. His work has also been
shown at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the
Corcoran Gallery of Art, and the Philadelphia Art Club. Recognition of Martino's talent is
driving recent auctions sales higher.
House by the Pond (sold for $89,000)
again relies on reflection to fuse
In the Canal Lock (sold for $34,000 ),
Martino achieved a mastery of fusion while
continuing a blended geometric impulse.
Curator's Comment: Don't be fooled by this painting. Martino is having a lot of fun with
the concept of reflections. First there is the typical reflection seen in the water in the
foreground. But then reflection goes wild as everything else in the painting reflects
evrything else. Just turn the boats over and they will reflect the roofs of the houses. Black
vee-shaped roof matches black reverse vee-shaped hull. Boat windows parody building
windows and the verticals, mooring poles, chimneys, boat out riggers, and even a TV
antenna all suggest this world of reflection gone wild. The concept and the painting are
brilliant. Martino gives us and aesthetic fusion of impressionism tempered with fauvism and
most of all a geometric impulse that is apparent in many of his most successful pieces.
Reflections at Cape May is one of the best of a series of small harbor works done along the
east coast through Maine, and shows not only the geometric style but also the brilliance of
his eye. We think this is a little piece of genius at work and the color harmony encloses all.
MARTINO'S REALISM IS MAGICAL!
|The Artist, 1975,