Lives and works in St. James, Long Island, NY
Paintings from the Linear Series
The focus of these paintings is the process and ritual of repetitive mark making. The color and depth is created by alternating many layers of brush strokes and pencil lines. In preperation for a new piece, I establish criteria such as scale, color, size and placement of the marks. Making decisions first allows me to proceed without interruption. Working this way, the act of painting becomes a form of meditation.
Sue Contessa's mixed media canvases share qualities of both Action and Color-field painting. She approaches the picture plane with intent. Applying layers of acrylic paint and graphite, she creates subtle variations of color and value which describe a subjective space that includes the stratification of measured repetitive lines. By evenly treating the over-all surface of a canvass with marks and/or color, she creates an intriguing visual environment. While there is no definition of three dimensional form, there is the illusion of depth which allows the viewer to enter the field. The term sublime is often used when referring to such enigmatic depictions. This approach to image making has purity which directly stimulates a response connected to feeling and intuition, inviting a meditative experience.
Dawn Lee, Associate Professor of Fine Art, Artist, and Curator, January, 2014