the essential in art
Clean, decisive, essential strokes that reveal the rapidity of the artist’s gesture, the creative spontaneity of the sketch. No color, only lines of sharp-edged, almost brilliant black. Wendy Ramsay’s “monotypes” are extraordinarily immediate, unique pieces that compose a veritable cycle of works focused entirely on the human figure. After years dedicated almost exclusively to sculpture, Ramsay, Canadian by origin but now Italian by adoption, has chosen to return to two-dimensionality with large oil paintings, graphic works, monotypes, and engravings, and to combine these mediums with others, from charcoal to watercolor. In Pietrasanta, Aldo Galleni prints her monotypes and graphics at his Stamperia d’Arte.
The monotype technique calls for painting on a metal or glass plate and transferring the image to paper by hand or with a press. But Ramsay has introduced her own variant, a sort of secret recipe. “It’s a method I learned from a master printer in Vancouver,” she explains, “and it’s giving me some truly exceptional results. I love this technique, since it encourages impromptu work – for me, the very best kind.”
The signs of this spontaneity carry over from the artist’s monotypes to her sculptures. And like in her graphics, the dominant theme in her gilded and patinated bronzes is the human figure, although she also proposes small animals such as her Owls, with their essential, abstract lines.
The dialogue between sculpture and painting is a constant in Ramsay’s work. “In sculpture, I take inspiration from drawing: my sculptures of the human figure are like sketches in clay,” she comments. “And now I’m translating some of those drawings into monotypes and etchings”.
You can view her work at the Ramsay Gallery in the center of Pietrasanta. By appointment – or by lucky chance, on a casual stroll through the historic streets.