If you visit mid-day, when visitors are few, the creaky floors of Corbett vs. Dempsey announce your arrival and provide a soundtrack for your movements amongst the artworks on view. Stop, let the floorboards quiet down, and listen closely to Jackie Saccoccio’s large, colorful abstract paintings in Echo, in the main gallery through April 25.
Square Portrait (flourish), 2015, presents slick geometric substructures partially obscured by splashes and wet-looking puddles of color: an elegant yellow and black tsunami obliterating the orderly abstract pastel-town beneath it. Brushmarks are few and far between: markmaking consists primarily of puddles, scrapes, drips, and stains. The most interesting of these marks are the drips. The artist has manipulated the paint to call forth a chorus of drips all moving left, right, up and down in synchrony. Saccoccio seems to have been accomplished this by moving the canvas while the paint was still wet, using gravity to direct the drips’ flow into right angles and zigzags reminiscent of palm tree fronds (Portrait (Blockhead), 2015).
Before you leave, pause in front of Square Portrait 2 (2015). Listen closely: perhaps you will hear a sound, as I did. Maybe I imagined it (or more likely the sound floated up from the city outside), but for a moment I believed it was coming from the painting: a cool, high note. Imagine my surprise the next day as I paged through the catalog interview and read Saccoccio’s description of how a painting is begun: “The onset of a painting is reliably sweet. It’s like listening to one note — it could become a symphony or it could be a jingle. Maybe that’s thoughtful cognitive pre-painting.” I didn’t hear any symphonies or jingles, but the one note, along with these splashy visual wonderlands, were music enough for me.