New Paintings by Linda Saccoccio. At Caruso-Woods Contemporary
Art Gallery. Shows through February 28.

Reviewed by Beth Taylor-Schott

Linda_Saccoccio.jpgA fanciful tale about the origins of
Linda Saccoccio’s paintings might go something like this: Once upon
a time, three sisters lived in a house with walls covered with bare
paper. The first sister proceeded to embellish the walls with
straight, vertical stripes of varying widths. In each room, she
used one or two primary colors, and then at times she would include
hues that were not primary at all but sang when placed against the
others. Though her compositions were orderly, the paint had tooth
and the lines sometimes wavered cheerfully. Soon the house had a
jovial look, and the sisters lived together happily for some time
in this way.

Then one day, the second sister  —  who had always been a little
different from the others, a little more ethereal, a little less
grounded  —  picked up her own brush and began to paint, making
fluid curves and gestures on top of the stripes. This sister
favored colors like mauve and orange. She did not exactly
accommodate her marks to her sister’s, but she did not ignore the
stripes, either. Her sisters began to think she was reliving a
former life in which she had communicated fluently in a
calligraphic hand, but they could find no literal meaning in what
she wrote. They liked the designs, though, and never thought about
painting over them. After a few years, it seemed as if they must
have always been there, the way a vine comes to seem made for its

The third sister, the youngest by many years, lived with the
other two until they were gone. Then, she got herself a nice senior
condo with fresh white walls. But when she got there, it felt
lonely. So she went back to the house and cut her favorite passages
from the walls. As she hung them in her new home, she was careful
not to disguise their origins, at times letting the paper overrun
the edges of its mountings. Now an old woman, the youngest sister
realized how lucky she had been to have lived so long in such a
magical place, and how happy she was to have brought it with her,
even if only in bits and pieces.


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