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Art & Soul: Gary Passanise

Art & Soul: Gary Passanise

040921-art-Art & Soul image

After winter’s smothering charcoal skies, vernal dusks, with their generally lighter and warmer palettes, appeal strongly to most eyes – and Gary Passanise’s Untitled, in its coloration, may well suggest just such palettes without lapsing into mere figuratism.

Of the 24- by 18-inch oil-on-canvas work from last year reproduced here, the St. Louisan relates: “This piece continues a minimalist approach that remains a constant thread of non-objective painting in my work. Thick horizontal brushstrokes define both an action and a spatial tension that defies a description. While magenta is a powerful signifier, my intention is for the work to remain ‘implicit’ and enigmatic.”

Passanise’s artistic career has spanned four decades and diverse media. More specifically, although known primarily for his painting, the artist also has explored drawing, printmaking, mixed media, installations and sculpture.

As a result, manifold collections both public and private include works of his, and he’s exhibited extensively in the U.S. and Europe alike. Passanise also has earned laurels from the federal National Endowment for the Arts and New York’s distingué Pollock-Krasner Foundation, among others.

Passanise (represented by Clayton’s Bruno David Gallery) currently serves as a professor and the director of painting at the Leigh Gerdine College of Fine Arts at Webster University in Webster Groves. There, he emphasizes learning outside the classroom; he also has headed travel-abroad courses and lectured in London, Paris and other far-flung locales.

His visual art, Passanise has stated, takes its inspiration from “ongoing explorations in concept, medium and content. The recognition and development of new forms and new meanings ignites a catalyst that engages imagery both timeless and relevant.”

To learn more about our featured artist, visit

Metro area artists who wish to be considered for future installments of this monthly department of Ladue News should email inquiries to with “Art & Soul” in the subject line.

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Bryan A. Hollerbach serves as LN's copy editor and one of its staff writers. He loves to read, write, impersonate an amateur artist and research all things bibulous.

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“I am a stay-at-home mom and working artist, so I guess I am a nap-time and bedtime artist at this stage in life,” says Ytterberg with a laugh. In addition to acrylics on canvas, she recently started selling digital prints and selling her work not only on her studio site but also at Union Studio.