Big Little Color

Donise English, Gina Occhiogrosso, Vincent Pomilio, Stephen Walling

October 7, 2022 through November 27, 2022

Carrie Haddad Gallery is pleased to present Big Little Color, a group exhibit featuring four Hudson Valley artists that explore abstraction through patterned or layered mixed media to accentuate bold color and textural juxtapositions. The exhibit, on view Oct. 7 – Nov. 27, will showcase new work by Donise English, Gina Occhiogrosso, Vincent Pomilio, and Stephen Walling. An opening reception will be held on Saturday, October 8th from 5-7pm. All are welcome to attend!
Stephen Walling’s three-dimensional wall sculptures strike a visually harmonic balance of playful color and form with skillful design. Complex arrangements of carved wood, painted or dyed with acrylic paint, are composed in linear or stacked layers, inviting the viewer to revel in changes of shape and shadow with shifting perspectives. Quippy titles like Dot-Ditty-Dash and Splish Splash lend a humorist note while complementing the artist’s choice of color and carved forms. After a career as Art and Creative Director at Conde Nast, Walling moved to Germantown, NY, where he now lives and works. The gallery has represented his work for sixteen years.
Vincent Pomilio, best known for acrylic and pigmented plaster paintings in eye-popping color, will debut a series of new work completed in his upstate studio. Memory Wall is a large-scale piece measuring five-feet square that the artist refers to as a “visual encyclopedia of shapes, compositions, and color juxtapositions”. Layers of box-like forms in vivid arrays of color act as a testament to decades of a honed fresco painting process using Stucco Veneziano. Pomilio achieves striking depth of color, made possible through seemingly infinite layers of pigmented plaster and marble dust that’s sealed with beeswax and burnished to activate its stone-like qualities. The abstract compositions are rooted in real-world observations, both natural and man-made. Earth-toned palettes with aggressively etched surfaces call to mind the primitive markings of early cave dwellers, radial arrangements as seen in Blake’s Star take inspiration from cosmic space, while crosshatched layers hint at textile designs like plaid or gingham. Pomilio experiments with new designs with the Big Little series, an evolving body of work consisting of 12 x 12-inch panels that allows for “intuitive playfulness”.
Donise English emphasizes lines, grids, and fields of subtle color to evoke imagined places and invented structures. While precise lines and straight angles are often associated with themes in architecture and urban planning designs, English conveys a geometric motif guided by intuition rather than a ruler. Variations on grids retain flaws and unmistakable traces of the artists’ hand; her style of draftsmanship shies away from intellectualism and instead makes her compositions feel very personal. A central checkerboard formation floats over a ground of pastel color or washes of grey or cream. Each design is intensely intricate, incorporating gouache, acrylic, pen, graphite, ink and colored pencil. Displayed in tandem will be a series of 3D sculptures. Quirky shapes are hand-stitched together using encaustic soaked paper to create a sense of weightless instability and fragility. The wax lends rigidity and strength to paper, an otherwise flexible and yielding material. “They all appear ready to disassemble and fall apart or fall over,” says the artist of either the free standing or wall hung constructions. “I enjoy this apparent contradiction that is created.” The artist recently retired from her decades career teaching at Marist College and is now devoted full time to her art making.
Gina Occhiogrosso expands the boundaries of painting as she explores a preoccupation with the materiality of painting itself. Wet acrylic is applied to a stretched muslin surface where biomorphic shapes are formed using a combination of neon and pastel palettes. What follows is a process of disassembly and realignment when the artist cuts and sutures the painted surfaces back together. The act of cutting leads to new forms, dynamic connections, and illusions of depth. Slightly raised stitched seams act as a geometric disrupter to create both linear and sculptural elements, suggesting ties that are fragile yet unified. Her process and choice of materials are a nod to the female tradition of needlework (both of her immigrant grandmothers were seamstresses) and to commonplace materials like cotton muslin, yarn and thread used to craft something truly fine. Extremely tactile in nature, the artist has perfected a technique to make paintings that are full of suggestive qualities abstraction can create, and that allows her to “explore anxiety, loss, humor and heroic femininity.” Gina Occhiogrosso’s national group exhibition experience includes group exhibitions at The Painting Center and The Tang Teaching Museum. She served on the arts faculty at the College of Saint Rose and was the previous gallery director for the Arts Center of the Capital Region.

Donise English

Gina Occhiogrosso

Stephen Walling

Vincent Pomilio