Press Excerpts

I have a background in textiles and a few years ago I became interested in the historical link between the Jacquard loom and computer programming. The Jacquard loom, a machine invented in the 1800s that weaves complex patterns using punch cards, was an important development in the history of computer hardware thanks to Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage. It became their inspiration for the “analytic engine” which provided the template for what we now consider to be the first computer.

– Richard Pasquarelli, Whitehot magazine of contemporary art, December 2022


In Lifelines in the Age of Anxiety (2020), we are face to face with a machine that is a shell of its former self. trapped, vibrating in infinite lockdown, it is steeped in its own obsolescence…..Antonietta Grassi”s use of color  and the grid speak to the work of women artists from the canon of 20th century abstraction- another coding system in its own right: Helen Frankenthaler and Agnes Martin can be glimpsed underneath the multicoloured horizontal lines. Like Eva Hesse, she adds her own personal touch to a seemingly impersonal subject by imbuing the machine with life and feeling.

– Amanda Beattie, Revue Esse Arts et opinions, Spring 2020


Overlaying candy-colored, geometric prisms with glimmering networks of lines that weave through and around them, painter Antonietta Grassi could easily be taken for the love child of Josef and Anni Albers. Yet while underscoring the contiguity of modernist composition and traditional craft, her exquisite abstractions also demonstrate the visual similarities between loom work and computer code…..While shimmering thread lines expertly maneuver their topographical shifts, a few not-quite hard edges bleed into the raw linen surrounding them in a sumptuous disturbance of the work’s diagrammatic precision. Like Agnes Martin’s grids, Grassi’s paintings both bear the traces of the hands that made them and exceed the sum of their painstakingly articulated parts. Suggesting the potentially sublime afterlife of industrial detritus, they nonetheless remind us that even in the midst of a pandemic, neither art nor life is of much interest when fully dematerialized.

– Ara Osterweil, ARTFORUM, November 2020


In her act and propagation of “viewing deeply,” Grassi examines the space created by absence as she would colour – as an imprint of realities past and present. It is both intuitive and methodical, “emotional and removed” – as she endeavours to be. Grassi has both touched and scared me.

– Lindsay Sorrell,, January 2019


Because her process is so intuitive, any individual painting can take years to complete—not because it takes Grassi that long to put paint to canvas, but because the works involve over time and she creates multiple pieces at once. For instance, Grassi worked on “At the Seams” over a period of three years.

-Chelsea Novack, , February  2019


Sous des techniques différentes, les lignes évoquent une même – idée connexion. Certains y verront des réseaux de métro, d’autres des systèmes neuronaux. »

– Chantal l’Heureux, Vie des Arts,  édition été 2018


En peinture, notons entre autres la participation d’Antonietta Grassi, avec deux oeuvres, All Jammed Up et Freeze, toutes deux tirées de la série Twitch, créée lors d’une résidence au Vermont, l’an dernier. Cette série expose fils et circuits, en dénudant des structures architecturales, tout en révélant les dessous de surfaces d’apparence stable et inoffensive.

– Julie Ledoux, Journal Voir, 22 mai, 2015


Grassi has been exhibiting her work in Canada and Europe since the 1990s, and now her edgy pieces are on view at Crossing Art Gallery. “My current work, which borders on abstraction and representation, references skewed architectural structures to reflect a shaky, unstable reality,” she said. “I derive my imagery by combining logic and intuition, embracing dynamic interactions between chaos and order, spillage and containment. Despite the work‟s structural references, very little is planned, and much is left to chance.”

– Tammy Scileppi , Queens Times Ledger, Decemebr 3, 2014


Les œuvres traiteront notamment de flottaison, d’aspects plus spirituels ou d’élévation architecturale.  Parmi les artistes présents, citons  Émilie F. Grenier et Antonietta Grassi.

– Eric Clement, la Presse, 20 mai, 2014


L’œuvre que nous avons choisie s’intitule Moving On Up Again. Elle a été créée par Antonietta Grassi, une des artistes qui participeront au festival Chromatic, dont la cinquième édition se tiendra du 24 au 30 mai à Montréal

– Anne Gagnaire, Les Affaires (Cahier), 12 mai, 2014


Some works in the exhibition allow you to swim in them, while others represent a conceptual use of the word or situation, such as in the work of Antonietta Grassi.

– Marcia Santore, Artscope , September/October, 2013


Grassi’s work involves a conceptual use of the word (water). The mysterious flow of ideas ebbs and flows and permeates all that it comes in contact with.

– The Vermont Journal, September 2013


Quebecoise  d’origine italienne, Antonietta Grassi est une figure importante de ce qu’on appelle la nouvelle abstraction au Québec. De passage dans la Vielle Capitale, son exposition est un véritable plaisir pour les yeux et l’esprit…On voit défiler les soies les plus légères, les popelines les plus fines et les velours les plus doux, comme autant d’invitations à s’abandonner aux espaces de solitude et de moments de quiétude avec soi-même. Des sollicitations au silence jusqu’au désir de comprendre ce qui est écrit, Grassi explique que l’expérience de son art est semblable au fait d’immerger sa tète sous l’eau, le temps d’entendre les bruits sourds et feutrés que sont les mots perdus émergeant du fond vers la surface de la toile.

– Michel Bois, Le Soleil , 28 May 2005


Kristeva’s ‘language’  chart is, uncannily mirrored in Antonietta Grassi’s  recent painting series Babble (and other coded language). But here notations are from the perspective of a painter and mother who, observing her infant in the process of acquiring language- the child being also the creative force, produced a unique and intellectually challenging body of  work. Although a genealogy could be established with Mary Cassat and Mary Kelly, whose art relates childhood experience, with Nancy Spero who explores language, and through abstraction to the grand dame of painting, Agnes Martin, the paintings can stand by themselves. Their strength comes from the daring transcription of speech into painting, and from the surplus of the attempt of capturing language and meaning which can neither be fully contained nor rendered in paint yet is visualized and made immediate.

– Maria Zimmerman Brendel,  Montreal ETC. Magazine, 2002


The late Yves Gaucher, who taught at Concordia University, was the mentor for Antonietta Grassi, whose exquisite works on paper and other pieces have been exhibited at Montreal’s Lilian Rodriguez Gallery as well as in Toronto and Vancouver.

– Victor Swoboda The Montreal Gazette, February 9, 2002


Du lot (de l’exposition), on retient les gribouillis de Grassi…

– Jérome Delgado La Presse, 27 juillet, 2002


On view are delicate, heartbreaking works on paper by Montreal artist Antonietta Grassi, who deftly delineates private anguish. Dripping wounds and needle thin scars combine with text ‘If my skin was parchment and your blows were ink.’

– Gillian MacKay, The Globe and Mail, Novemebr 23, 1996


Antonietta Grassi’s exquisite series entitled The Scar Project looks at the emotional wounds and the process of healing through delicate confessional paintings and sketches.  Closely cropped images of cuts and stitches are painted in fleshy tones that stretch the tonal limits of crimson and buttermilk.

– Natalie- Rose Fischer, Now Toronto, November 1996


…se trouve la très esthétique série de pastels et encres d’Antonietta Grassi intitulée Cicatrices. À la manière de Goodwin, dans l’esprit tout à fait actuel de la métaphore de l’art comme corps. Grassi joue des surfaces du papier et des nuances de l’encre comme s’il s’agissait de peau et de sang.

– Jornal VOIR, Du 15 au 21 AOUT, 1996


…l’artiste inspire les visiteurs à entrer dans un univers de sensibilité et d’intimité.

– Le Progrès de St. Leonard, 22 aout 1995