Skip to main content

Chester County Press

Hannafin and Basciani exhibit at Chadds Ford Gallery

04/20/2015 10:55AM ● By J. Chambless

'Moon Rising Over Mercato' by John Hannafin.

There's plenty to admire in the new two-person show by William Basciani and John Hannafin at the Chadds Ford Gallery. While the styles of the two artists vary greatly, they work together well.
Hannafin, who grew up in West Chester, has a vivid palette and a bold style that's immediately recognizable. He has a way of tweaking straight edges that gives an energy and elasticity to his paintings of West Chester buildings. 
“Moon Rising Over Mercato” is a nighttime view of a deserted West Chester street, with the white lights hanging on awnings and in a window of a storefront echo the Van Gogh “Starry Night” sky above. That sky is seen again in “Old Library,” a view of the West Chester Library that revels in the saturdated red brick color. “Snowy, Starry Night” is a winter scene in which the Victorian architecture is again ever so slightly curved.
Hannafin's large “Brandywine Reflections,” on the other hand, is a warm-hued summer view of still water and lush green foliage that steps away from the stylized works and lets the beauty of the scene shine through. 
Hannafin's “Heart of the Town” is another less stylized view of red roofs in the foreground and the distinctive tangle of architectural styles beyond, under a sky full of wind-whipped clouds.
Basciani's part of the gallery is divided between formal portraits of stuffed toys and depictions of the Basciani family's mainstay – mushrooms. Whether it's the Old Master elegance of “Portabella” and “Variety of Whites” or the dizzying field of tiny mushrooms in “2nd Break,” he clearly knows his subject matter. 
The small still life “Mixed Berries” is a lovely composition that glows with carefully chosen highlights and delicate textures. The portraits of toys are a rather unexpected direction, but there's an undeniable cuteness to “Lily Bobtail” and “Scarlett's Toys Come to Life.” 
“Bridal Centerpiece” is a bountiful heap of pastel-colored blooms that has an admirable grandeur, and further shows Basciani's skill with delicate textures.
Works by John Hannafin and William Basciani continue at the Chadds Ford Gallery (1609 Baltimore Pike, Chadds Ford) through May 3. The gallery is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Call 610-388-2412 or visit

To contact Staff Writer John Chambless, e-mail [email protected].