Earlier this week, the NY Transit Museum, celebrated the opening of their latest exhibition, titled “New York’s Golden Age of Bridges: Paintings by Antonio Masi.” The exhibit officially opened on May 12th and will run through September 30th. The exhibit features 18 massive paintings of nine city bridges.
Masi’s paintings are often distinguished by his anomalous use of watercolor, generally considered a light and airy medium. “I discovered that watercolor can also be used in a thick manner,” he explains, “and it can express the heaviest subjects imaginable. With watercolor, I contrast the mass, power and delicacy of my subjects.”
In 2011, the critically acclaimed book New York’s Golden Age of Bridges was published by Fordham University Press, combining Masi’s paintings with insightful essays by author and New York City historian Joan Marans Dim. The book describes an age that was a testament to human ingenuity, where architectural innovation, consummate determination and daring vision came together in uniting the five boroughs.
The exhibition at the New York Transit Museum features eighteen of Masi’s paintings – two of each of his subjects: the Brooklyn, Williamsburg, Queensboro, Manhattan, George Washington, Triborough, Bronx-Whitestone, Throgs-Neck and Verrazano-Narrows Bridges. The accompanying exhibition text, written by Joan Dim, provides a concise history of these masterpieces of engineering.
Masi’s works serve to celebrate an era of achievement – from the Brooklyn Bridge in 1886 to the Verrazano-Narrows in 1964 – which has provided the foundation for the modern age of transit. A gallery talk and book signing with the artist and author is planned.
Funding for New York’s Golden Age of Bridges: Paintings by Antonio Masi is provided, in part, by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and the New York State Council on the Arts.