In Kindred Paintings, Two Cousins Take the Ocean as Inspiration
On a first glance at the exhibition, you’ll notice the similarities. You’d even be forgiven for assuming that the paintings were produced by a single artist. The works featured in the show are all abstract, medium- to large-format, and many employ an oceanic palette of deep blues and frothy, textural whites. And, generally speaking, they’re titled with literal descriptors, as in Contacessi’s Fleeting Light (2015) or Guererra’s Treading Water (2014).
A closer examination reveals disparities, however subtle, that hint at the artists’ individual identities. A few works stand out for their eye-catching colors, like the rich vermilion and vibrant lime green of Palm Beach Sunset (2014), or the delicate, dripping metallics of Peacock’s Gold (2015). These two, both oils, are Guererra’s. The artist revels in what she calls the “sexy, luminous” quality of oil paint, and names risk-taking artists
Contacessi, in contrast, prefers the control and precision of acrylic paint and mixed media, and works almost exclusively with the theme of the ocean. She’s taken a cue from the likes of
Guererra and Contacessi’s artworks are grounded in a shared context, related but distinct, never fixed but always changing in small, almost imperceptible ways—like two sisters.
“Toedora Guererra & Julia Contacessi: Cousins in Life, Sisters in Art” is on view at Sorelle Gallery, New Canaan, Jul. 21–Aug. 19, 2015.
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