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ENT CENTER FOR THE ARTS at UCCS

Raphael Sassi: A Retrospective

GOCA

Raphael Sassi: A Retrospective

 

 

Raphael Sassi: A Retrospective

GOCA Downtown

January 7 - March 5, 2022


ABOUT THE EXHIBITION

Raphael Sassi’s art communicates his deep and abiding respect and commitment to traditional technique as well as constant innovation in drawings, paintings, and sculpture. Works in this exhibition span nearly his entire life, from early works on paper to his most recently completed works in painting and drawing. Raphael committed to practicing art seriously from a young age, declaring his intentions to his father who was an art teacher and working at it almost daily until his death in 2019. 

Sassi’s talent was apparent to those around him from youth, coupled with a drive to create art that pushed his work to among the highest caliber in representational and figurative drawing and painting circles. He received numerous awards and accolades across his lifetime and was a teacher as well as a sought after portrait artist. This exhibition asserts his place as a critically important Colorado artist, and honors his legacy as both an artist and as a friend to so many in this region. Curated by Daisy McGowan, with thanks to Gretchen and Doug Sassi for their work to realize the exhibition.

GOCA encourages donations to  the Raphael Sassi Memorial Scholarship Foundation, which provides support for young and emerging artists specializing in draughtsmanship to develop their fine arts skills at the secondary level, and to pursue study abroad opportunities.


ABOUT THE ARTIST

Raphael Sassi’s deep and lifelong commitment to the study and practice of art resonates profoundly through his drawings, paintings and sculpture created during his lifetime. Works in this exhibition span nearly his entire practice, from early works on paper to his most recently completed works in painting and drawing. 

Sassi dedicated himself the life of a serious artist from a young age, declaring his intentions to his father who was an art teacher and working at his practice almost daily as the integral fiber of his life, culminating in a terminal degree from the renowned New York Academy of Art, considered the creative and intellectual center at the vanguard of representational art.

Raphael Sassi’s white hot talent was apparent to those around him from his earliest years, coupled with a drive to create art that brought recognition in representational and figurative drawing and painting circles as well as numerous awards and accolades across the art world. 

This exhibition asserts that Raphael Sassi was one of Colorado’s most significant contemporary artists and honors his legacy as both an artist and a friend to many in the western region, nationally and internationally. Raphael Sassi was born in Pennsylvania on Oct. 29, 1976, and was raised in Maryland. Sassi died tragically on April 5, 2019, in Colorado where he had lived for some time. He began his art studies in his early teens, receiving a Maryland Artists Equity Distinguished Scholar Finalist Award in 1995. Subsequently he enrolled at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore. Including a semester studying abroad in Italy at the Syracuse University in Florence, he graduated from MICA in 1999. 

He was, in the words of Professor James Hennessey, "The most accomplished draughtsman that I encountered in my 37 years of teaching at the Maryland Institute." Following travels, Sassi moved to New York City where he attended graduate school at The New York Academy of Art on scholarship. 

After receiving his MFA in 2004, he was awarded the Walter Erlebacher Award for the study of Artistic Anatomy and one of the three distinguished NYAA year-long Post-Graduate Residencies, the Academy's highest honor and one of the Fellowship positions for the year 2005. His final exhibition for the residency, entitled “The Girlfriends,” featured thirty-six portraits of friends and models that he recruited to the project through then-brand-new social media avenues.

Raphael Sassi exhibited broadly, including in New York City in the Chelsea district, The Salmagundi Club, the New York Academy of Art, multiple exhibitions at the Medialia Gallery, a solo exhibition in SoHo, at Denver’s RedLine Gallery as part of “Drawing Never Dies” in 2018, at the Baltimore Museum of Art with the Maryland Artists Equity Foundation, and at the National Arts Club where he was awarded The National Portrait Society Award for the renowned graphite on paper "AllenPublications include New York Times, Page Six of The New York Post, Denver’s Westword magazine, Elle magazine, Fine Art Connoisseur, and Colorado Collective magazine, as well as features in Spectrum News NY1 Arts report and The New York Times Style section video short, and the Huffington Post Arts Blog. Raphael Sassi’s work is featured in the 2014 publication by Skira Rizzoli, Figure: Painting, Drawing, and Sculpture: Contemporary Perspectives, by Margaret McCann and alongside artists Jenny Saville, Eric Fischl and Will Cotton.

His work is part of numerous private collections, including that of artist Eric Fischl.


IMPORTANT DATES

Exhibition on View

January 7 - March 5, 2022

Events TBA

First Fridays in January, February, March, 2022

Additional Programs

TBA

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