Bruce Marsh’s Amalfi Coast, 1984, is a painting you can visually dive into. This wonderful sea of brushwork demonstrates that Marsh loves to paint, and that he enjoys the process of discovery and invention. Each brushstroke is completely different. On close inspection, we see both that Marsh likes the way the canvas gives when his brush presses it and how the surface he’s painting responds to his touch. There’s something very sensuous about this work that seizes us when we survey the rocks and sea.
If you have ever been to Amalfi, you know it’s one of the most beautiful places on earth. The breathtaking drop from the cliffs into the water is as extraordinary as the changing colors of the Mediterranean. I wonder how many who’ve seen this painting at Van Wezel have called their travel agents the next day.
Marsh takes us back to Italy, if we have been there before; or he allows us to wonder in awe at the pure perfection of nature in the variety of colors, shapes and forms it unites into a whole. Through the way he constructs each rock ledge and swirl of sea foam, he engages us in the contemplation of the light particles that give form to it all. Each square inch of the Marsh canvas provokes our delight and refreshment.
Amalfi Coast, 1984, is part of the collection of the Fine Arts Society of Sarasota installed in the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall.-Mark Ormond