Corrine Colarusso by Eric O’Dell Catalog Essay from Painters Reel, Contemporary Painting in Georgia, 2009




Radiant Night, 2008, 78 x 66, acrylic on canvas

C o r r i n e  C o l a r u s s o
by  E ric  O’Dell
Corrine Colarusso has combined a long time exploration of the landscape with a growing interest in bioluminescence. Her  work  is  approachable,  but  you  must  be  careful.  Her territory  is  not  demarcated  or  protected  by  fence  lines  of irony. These “vessels of mood,” as she calls them lie in a very  deep  place.  Corrine’s  paintings  do  not  snap  you  up. Instead, you are absorbed. Much like trying to traverse the land of the trembling earth, the Okefenokee, I sink into her work from eyes, to heart, to mind.

I want to be alone with Corrine’s work.
I want to be in them.

They resonate with the feeling of big solitude that is welcomed and wordlessly contemplative. And, like an ancient epic, the largeness is comprised of well-crafted, well-turned couplets that stand on their own. Corrine knows how to handle paint. There are passages within passages. The subject and material emphasize a liquid primordial process appropriate to nature and painting. I don’t sense timeliness; I see and feel, in the distant and often dark horizons, something timeless. In her work you can find passages of faded growth caught either in a fading light or dying moment. Maybe it is both. From somber undertones emerge vitality, growth and bloom, fullness and illumination. Marks seem to dance out of the dark as you follow the memory of Corrine’s hand and brush. Subject,  process,  color,  and  mark  are  rightly  orchestrated time  and  time  again.  She  always  hits  the  right  note.  The varying  horizons  are  movements,  and  the  brighter  living things lift from the earth tones. Somehow she captures full cycles of the living and dying on these canvases.

I am absorbed into Radiant Night. It is a large and mysterious painting. Night encroaches and  descends from all around. The background is delineated by the subtlest of differences between  dark  tones.  It  is  the  foundation  upon  which  the painting is built. Then there is an onrush, a burst and pulse of  light.  Is  it  the  last  glint  of  sunlight?  Has  some  weird luminescence pushed to the foreground through the flora? Dots and dashes of light sparkle and flare up; it is mysterious and right. This aria surges upwards. It becomes spiritual to me, this deftly formed and fully alive yearning that prevails upon the dark mood of the landscape. Corrine has me. It is a painter’s book of genesis, where earthbound constellations move upon the face of the deep.