This preview first appeared in Art New England, July/August 2016.
“I don’t want to make the same painting over and over,” Emilia Dubicki says, standing in her home studio filled with natural light and the spring trill of birds. “I want to keep it interesting and new—plus I would get too bored!” This New Haven-based abstract painter seems to find inspiration in every corner of life: poetry, landscapes, music, even cities.
Dubicki mixes memory with observation, serenity with action, and harnesses it all to express the sensory alchemy of a moment. She works big and she works quickly, layering paints and using a variety of marks: angles, drips, and broad decisive strokes that fill the canvas with vitality. Her colors are rich—mostly blues like crisp cobalt, soft aqua, and velvety midnight, with the occasional flash of goldenrod and tangerine—and she laces them with grey, black and white sweeps and swatches. The result is both personal and exuberant, like hearing your favorite slow jam played in public at full volume.
“Emilia’s work is very much about the physicality of painting,” says gallery director Fred Giampietro. Her compositions “possess a freshness and cerebral intuitiveness, and hold a strong dialogue with the masters of abstract expressionism,” he says. Dubicki’s canvasses evoke graffiti, too, and Chinese calligraphy. Within her abstractions, one might see a tangle of seaweed and rocks or the glowing windows of an evening cityscape. In Chapman Falls, where the paint seems to slide and melt off the canvas, a suggestion of a bird swoops in one corner while jagged lines conjure an icy surface extending into the distance. The effect is dreamlike—a memory distilled into frosty whites and the blue sheen of a clear sky.
In her book Bluets, writer Maggie Nelson ponders artists’ personification of blue. By singing about the blues finding us, catching us, she notes that musicians attribute to the color “not only a heart, but a mind.” Dubicki’s art has both. “I like to think that each painting asks questions that lead to more questions, and more paintings,” she says.
Emilia Dubicki: New Paintings
June 23-August 5, 2016
New Haven, CT