An allusion to Jean Dubuffet’s “Art Brut,” his definition for raw, emotional work made outside of the academy, Saccoccio’s expansive, physical, and unapologetic Femme Brut is, for what the artist states as “abstraction at full throttle.” The works to go on view are characterized by a muscular urgency and evidence formal interests in space and scale. The unabashed bravado of the newest canvasses recall artist and art critic Thomas Micchelli’s comment that while Saccoccio’s work contains “echoes of Joan Mitchell and Helen Frankenthaler,” it is her “exploitation of every conceivable mode of applying paint” that “grounds the work in pure painting and distinguishes it as a post-painting phenomenon.”
Her most recent canvasses, all 2019, are characterized by globules, spheres, washes, and fictitious architecture, which she likens to the “explosive nature of a tempest,” a reference to Shakespeare’s tragedy that deals with storms, sorcery, and enchantment, such as a pair of epically scaled, highly activated oil and oil pastel on linen paintings measuring 130 x 94 inches. Another work, La Source de la Loue, an oil, oil pastel, and mica on linen measuring 114 x 94 inches, returns to a seminal historical painting for the artist—a ca. 1864 production by the French artist Gustave Courbet of the same title. Saccoccio’s canvas is a buoyant palette to his somber, foreboding tones; she powerfully echoes his cavernous space absent of a horizon line and conveys, terrifyingly, both volume and vacuum. The artist’s monotype paintings also ruminate on this solidity, transparency, and metaphor. The more than six-foot-tall oil and mica on linen Le Puits Noir (Concave)’s layered passages of red, citrus orange, and bone, are like that of a tempest, at once warped and non-sensical and what Saccoccio describes as “a stage for a floating chrysalis.”
The artist draws inspiration from art history, contemporary practice, literature, and cinema and is known for an affecting body of chromatic large-scale, body-aware paintings, working in a mode that favors chance, gravity, time and control. She tips, drags, and shakes her paintings over one another, accumulating webs of space, manipulating them as prints, so that one serves as plate, the other as paper. The resulting orbicular centers reflect a conversation between the layers that include atomized color, painted and drawn, perspectival views of pixelation, printmaking, and the results of her alchemical combinations.
The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated exhibition catalogue with a new essay by Brooklyn-based editor and art critic Julia Wolkoff Fiore.
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