Francesca DiMattio’s canvases take architecture as their subject as a means to restructure the concept of space. Using painting as a springboard for invention, DiMattio’s buildings and interiors descend into a myriad of perspectival confusion as grid-like patterns of brick and tile, decorative arches, and off kilter staircases become departure points for painterly contrasts and expressive mark-making. Occupying human-sized scale, DiMattio’s canvases create a dizzying sense of physical environment. Veering between art historical references – from pop, art nouveau, and op art – DiMattio’s paintings extend post-modern eclecticism into the realm of the surreal.
In Ladder, DiMattio envisions a still-life within a classical portico which dissolves into an entanglement of illusory confusion. DiMattio adapts the systematic order of black and white illustration as a means to underscore the subtle disruption of her composition. Painted objects, such as the ladder and umbrella, become embedded within the stylised background, their realistic rendering careening against the flatness of the picture plane as they are engulfed by the Matisse-like wall paper and threatened by the undulating floor.
DiMattio’s Broken Arch appropriates the staidness of her architectural subject to explore the visual representation of velocity and weightlessness. Juxtaposing the rigid geometry of mosaic-like forms against an explosion of feather motifs, bijoux patterning, and skewed linear shapes, DiMattio creates a sense of wonder and unease from an arrangement of formal elegance. Infusing the free flow meander of doodling with baroque opulence, DiMattio contrives an optical illusion through both disjointed perspective and a heightened physicality of surface detail.