“With arduous technique, Massad “loads” his works in pastel with meanings that may find no better outlet, no clearer articulation, than in his carefully layered and meticulously inscribed picture planes.”
“. . . . . a distilled, deeply muted symbolism which transcends the exquisite refinement of technique - and almost the still-life genre itself. . . . .”
Palmer Museum of Art Newsletter, Spring 2008
“. . . . . hauntingly atmospheric still lifes . . . . .”
The Oklahoman, Friday, May 5, 2006
"It would be hard to exaggerate the precision with which these fragments of stone and fruit are rendered (the man is a wizard with pencil and chalk), or to exaggerate the single-minded integrity of a style that has elected to banish all hints of traditional pastel brightness or richness. This is still-life after the fall, a little proud and a little eerie. You fear there’s nothing left to say; Massad seems to agree, then returns to using his incomparable talent to dramatize that truth."
Sunday, February 3, 2002
"G. Daniel Massad’s still lifes depict strangely beautiful quotidian objects set against seemingly impenetrable black backgrounds, their textures and shapes illuminated by a subtle play of light. Massad, clearly a master of the genre, does not plumb this tradition to suggest the comforts of domesticity, rather, he infuses both his subject matter and what surrounds it with a sense of the weight of history, of the corrosive effects of time. . . . . By placing his subject matter – which ranges from fruits, vegetables, and flowers to bowls, buckets, and bottles – against indeterminate ruins he seduces the viewer with his own brand of melancholic grandeur, filling the tradition of still life with a new vitality."
The Hudson Review, Spring 1995
"Massad draws in a crystalline realist style that produces forms so crisply defined they seem preternatural. His precision is complemented by his tactic of setting objects against a black ground, which reads as a void, and illuminating them with strong, raking light. . . . . Even though they aren’t demonstrative, Massad’s drawings are life-affirming in the most basic way. They reduce the universe to its essentials – light, darkness and germination. His ultimate achievement is his ability to generate so much feeling from a style that’s so controlled and a vision that’s so spare."
Artforum, Summer 1995
-Edward J. Sozanski
"Daniel Massad has elevated the pastel medium to a radiant refinement…"
The Philadelphia Inquirer, Dec.13, 1991
"A master of meticulously rendered still life works, Massad imbues even the most commonplace of objects with expressive tensions and underlying psychologies. By modeling forms in powerful lights and darks, Massad evokes the hidden story of the real, the poetry of the everyday."
Courier News, Bridgewater, NJ, May 21, 1989
-Leo G. Mazow
"There is a poetic radiance in the best still life paintings, forged from the sensuous and contextual auras of the unpretentious subjects. In Dan Massad’s work, poetry has a palpable presence. Occasionally it is literal, as when he invokes a line in a ghostly inscription; more usually, it is implied."
The Valley, Lebanon Valley College Magazine, Summer 1998
Also by Leo G. Mazow: "Clear Eyes, Calm Hearts" - G. Daniel Massad & the Poetics of Still Life
Morris Gallery Coordinator and Curator
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts