Great Clay, Kickin' Color 1994
Pablo Contrisciani wants his paintings to give viewers "a kick in the behind..." A kick in the behind is indeed in the eye (and the behind) of the beholder, but no one can doubt that Contrisciani love and understands color.
At KMS Dizyners Gallery, internationally exhibited Pablo Contrisciani wants his large paintings to "push color to the maximum of its potential, savagely, in a manner shocking to the eyes, one which gives the viewer the sensation of having received a kick in the behind . . ." A colorist kick in the behind is indeed in the eye (and the behind) of the beholder, but no one can doubt that Contrisciani loves and understands color.
The paint application varies from oozing icing-like drips in the patchwork-patterned 'Landscape' to thin dry areas in 'A Close Shave', in which a man eyes his own face in the mirror.
Although the subject matter of Contrisciani's painting varies, his style is unmistakable. He employs the distortion and bravura brushwork of the German Expressionists, but his angst quotient is low. The dynamic color harmonies which envelop the viewer like the powerful rhythms of music could be the work of fauves, updated with a shot of Jackson Pollock.
Although all the paintings are nominally representational, some landscapes and even a few figurative works seem to function on a mostly abstract level. The rolling hills of 'Landscape', for example, are almost a pretext for combining a group of individually pleasing color conjunctions into a whole which is also satisfying.
On the other hand, 'In the Bath' maintains a closer connection with observed reality by exploiting the patterned repetition of spirals of yellow and blue-green on the tiled bath. Here a real moment in time is evoked. 'Invitation', one of the artist's better-known paintings, has an expressive character. Set in the orientalism of a Matisse-like pink and yellow patterned boudoir, the deadpan stare of the "inviting" woman in the foreground is cast in a dangerous greenish shadow. This one does have a distinctly ominous edge, while 'Public Act' and 'Process