In 2004, Philadelphia painter Francis Di Fronzo was awarded one of twelve Pew Fellowship in the Arts. During this pivotal moment in his artistic career, landscape painting became “a stage for everything in life. Anyone who looks at a landscape painting can identify immediately.” In his paintings, Di Fronzo depicts highly realistic scenes of the natural world, which are both beautiful and poetic, but also deeply mysterious, and at times ominous and foreboding.
Di Fronzo’s painting technique has helped to underscore his outlook. He works with a “comb brush”, of his own design, comprised of 60-80 individual hairs attached to a wooden stick. Using this comb, he creates images of open fields and rolling hills by tapping the hairs onto a toned panel. After many layers, the result is an infinite expanse of individual blades of grass, rich in tone, detail and hue. Di Fronzo has also experimented with a new technique to paint seascapes, creating sweeping scenes of open water that are rich and complex in color and depth.
Born in California in 1969, Francis received his B.F.A at the University of California, Fullerton. He then came east to study at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, where he earned his M.F.A. in 1998. Francis was also awarded the Liquitex, Art in America University Award in 1993, and the Stobbart Foundation Fellowship in the Arts Award in 1998. In 2007, Di Fronzo was featured in the June issue of Fine Art Connoisseur Magazine’s article “Making Their Mark: Three to Watch”.
Exhibitions at Somerville Manning Gallery
2015 The Earth’s Sharp Edge (Part 5), March 13 – April 11, 2015
2012 Earth, Sea and Sky: Michael Doyle, Francis Gregory Di Fronzo, Christine Lafuente, March 9 – April 7, 2012
2008 Recent Works, March 7 – April 5, 2008
2006 Oil Paintings, September 15 – October 7, 2006
1998 MFA, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA
1994 BFA, California State University, Fullerton, CA
Awards and Honors
2004 Pew Fellowship in the Arts, Painting
1998 Stobart Foundation Fellowship Award, Landscape Painting
1993 Art in America Excellence in Art University Award, Undergraduate
1991 Southern California Art Alliance Fellowship Award, Painting