|The New Natural, oil and acrylic ink on pieced and sewn muslin, 2021|
We are living in a time when it seems impossible to be hopeful – yet that is in a sense our only hope. Occhiogrosso understands this, and while her artistic practice remains primarily a rigorous pursuit of the purely visual, with regular forays into the topical (examples include feminism, global warming, and the pandemic), the results are clearly meant to uplift.
|Migration, acrylic paint and ink|
on sewn cotton, 2017
Not a retrospective, Surfacing is comprised mainly of recent works, and seems to want to be about re-emerging from the isolation of the pandemic. If so, then it reveals a rather glorious private world of shimmering shapes and radiant colors – hardly the doom and gloom one might expect from an artist stuck inside for a couple of years.
|Cascade, oil and acrylic|
on pieced and sewn polyester, 2019
In this way, Occhiogrosso allows randomness and intuition into the mix, forming a means of abstraction that doesn't depend entirely on self-expression. It's a process that works perfectly for an artist who, on one hand, entertains doubts (don't we all?) and, on the other hand, has clear ideas about what she wants to make, and a fierce commitment to working toward those goals.
|Inside Out, oil and acrylic|
on pieced and sewn muslin, 2020
Additionally, Occhiogrosso addresses universal and personal concerns in her two accordion books, one of which elegantly depicts a flooded urban world with parallel colored-pencil lines, while the other represents the details of a domestic interior in sketchy black ink (both very skillfully drawn, I might add).
Altogether, the show is a must-see for fans of local art - Occhiogrosso is a native of Niskayuna, currently living in Troy - and just a real treat for anyone who may feel a bit deprived of color and joy in the midst of winter, or in the grip of a (let's hope) post-pandemic haze.
Surfacing will remain on view at the ACCR through March 11; the gallery is open every day but Sunday, including Tuesday through Thursday evenings till 7.
|Morgan Avenue, pen on accordion sketchbook, 2020|