Lives and works in St. James, NY
The process and ritual of repetitive mark making is the focus of my work. I paint layers of opaque and transparent marks, and sometimes add layers of graphite marks. The many layers merge into monochromatic layers of depth and space. The act of painting takes me beyond thought and logic and becomes my form of meditation.
Sue Contessa's canvases share qualities of both Action and Color-field painting. She approaches the picture plane with intent. Applying layers of acrylic paint and sometimes graphite, she creates subtle variations of color and value which describe a subjective space that includes the stratification of measured repetitive marks. By evenly treating the over-all surface of a painting with strokes, she creates an intriguing visual environment. There is no definition of three dimensional form, but 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. Contessa’s approach to image making has purity which directly stimulates a response connected to feeling and intuition, inviting a meditative experience.
Dawn Lee - Artist, Professor of Fine Art, and Independent Curator, 2018