Patricia SonninoSan Francisco, CA
The Geographics and Tide Pool series translate my experience and memory of the San Francisco edge of the Pacific. It is an ever changing play of light, movement, and formal relationships. The Pacific coast and the collision of the man-made and the pools and detritus left by receding tides and the force of the waves. This is where the static meets turbulence. The constant change of light color, and forms speaks to me of the ephemeral. All our constructions of stone and concrete are impermanent, buildings become ruins, traces for us to read and imagine, a kind of historic footprint. I paint with oil or gouache and egg tempera. I rely the materials as much as content. the work is a conversation with the paint after I begin.
The idea for these series developed on visits to San Francisco Bay Area beaches, marine preserves, and coastal ruins. I collected specimens and sketched found objects and tangles of flotsam. In the studio, these studies crossed with an ongoing search for a language of abstract forms and ideas about natural history and landscape.
My work combines painting and drawing with found objects, and is often influenced by walks in places I love. Natural historians began with the fascination for nature’s mysteries; the unknown instilling a sense of wonder, found specimens triggering flights of the imagination. For me, objects and places found on our tidal edges seem every bit as worthy of speculation and study.
The Excavations series continues my investigation of urban conditions and the fragments left by history or buried by time. This new work is inspired by a long-time interest in “spoglio Romano”, the recycling of Roman stones in buildings and walls, and the excavation of ancient frescoes buried by subsequent wall layers.
Analogous to the physical reclaiming of the past, these collages use rescued 19th century letters and discarded paper as a ground for paint. The chemistry of the paper modifies the color giving it patina.
I am a painter and practicing architect, working in San Francisco. I am influenced by my love of cities. My work combines painting and drawing with found objects, and is often influenced by walks in cities and landscapes I love.
I have exhibited recently at the SFMOMA Artists Gallery, the Sanchez Art Gallery in Pacifica, and the Lux Center in Lincoln, Nebraska. I have also exhibited her paintings at the Garage Gallery in Berkeley, and Herman Miller and the Big Pagoda Art Gallery in San Francisco. I spend a portion of each year painting in Rome.
I have a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Architecture from Washington University and have taught design at the Boston Architectural Center.