Pulse of Abstraction displays the work of artists who explore their mediums to the max, employing their sensitivity to color and form to investigate the myriad possibilities inherent in their chosen materials. Approaching art as essential to life, they combine passionate impulse with the skill developed through sincere dedication to produce pieces as memorable as they are striking.

Participating Artists

Rafa (Raffaella Rizzo) mixes powdered pigments with acrylic resin to create layered paintings of vibrant, dimensional color. Trained as a classical musician and composer, Rafa reacts to the viscosity of paint to build a reverberating surface of colliding marks through swaths and spills, which gently bleed together where they merge. These gestures orchestrate a poetic visual experience – folding into one another to become a sensorial record of the medium’s fluidity.

Rafa has always sought to explore the social utility of art through the potency of an abstract mark. She equates visual harmony with her experience as a feminist and a woman, summoning the essence of social progress through both the ephemerality and physicality of an objective form. In this work, there is an insistence that the painting stay faithful to its medium. Lacking figurative motifs, the work begs a kind of engagement based on heightened perception and sensation, evoking an incontrovertible relationship between color and composition that paradoxically frees one from the other.

Discovering a delicate balance between earth and sky, realism and abstraction, Karen Keil Brown captures the essence and tranquility of nature with a sense of internal energy. As forested mountainsides are cloaked in a muted depth of mist and shadow, Brown focuses our vision on a moment of serenity, revealing an elemental and transcendent dance between atmosphere and light. Brown paints with an intuitive and softly expressive brushstroke, distilling the ever-changing face of the landscape with an ethereal immediacy. Brown creates her paintings in either acrylic or oil paints on canvas, maintaining the meditative freedom and breath of her signature mark and style as she works in either medium.

For Nunzia Busi , art is a way to “bring forth” the emotions, and the act of making art is sheer pleasure – as is, it must be said, her audience’s experience of viewing the results. Using acrylic paints and glazes on canvas, she creates colorful, imaginative paintings that vividly communicate her moods. In those paintings, she employs a wide range of styles, from drips to wide swaths of color to freehand sketches. With a palette that animates a range of subtle tones with intense bursts of color, she infuses her works with depth, space and movement. There is also a well-developed sense of texture, lending each painting an energy that seems to extend past the edges of the canvas.

Her images also balance the freedom of abstract forms with a classical sense of balance, forming a seamless, unified world that bridges abstraction and representation. The open-endedness she gives to a swirl of paint can also be seen in her rendering of a flower or a human face. While the artist says she is “convinced that art will save the world,” her works form a world that will live on through that unity and coherence.

A dedicated contemporary artist, Descronos makes paintings in acrylic and oil on canvas or linen. Characterized by soft geometric forms, plentiful symbolism and muted colors, these lofty compositions reference urban industrial life and its varied values of exchange. There are sometimes subtle references to Cubism, and a number of works entail the blissful disequilibrium we might associate with a futuristic type of Surrealism. In certain works you can even make out “Picasso” scrawled amidst the cacophony of color pathways and static floating or rolling coin-like objects. Descronos never lacks for inspiration, and his intense passion for his work will at times induce him to work day and night to bring a work to fruition. Capable of bringing a larger than life feel to two-dimensional space, his clever approach to his subject matter, unique painterly language and almost violent fervor for image-making lend a distinct air of purpose to the work.

Whether abstract or representational, the highly expressive work of Pato García is inspired by nature. García conveys feelings and emotions in her paintings through color and texture, mixing acrylic and oil in a single piece, layering and overlapping brushstrokes to create conceptual swirls of pigment, leaving open space on the canvas and utilizing glazes for a striated effect. In some pieces García sculpts volume and shape on the canvas by painting over plastic fillings.

An Argentinian artist, García has been drawing since childhood, but only started painting as an adult when she took private lessons from painters, attended workshops and seminars as part of her training, and was inspired by the works of artists such as Milo Lockett. She avoids repeating the same techniques too often, and values variation in both subject and style, lending her work an attractive freshness and variety. No matter the subject, however, all her paintings have bright color and a sense of movement. García says her goal in painting is to inspire other people with her happiness and love for life.

“I am not a fan of the mainstream,” says Marcel Neuenschwander , “and as an artist I always try to be original.” This philosophy led him toward his method of painting. After trying out many styles, he arrived at a “new pictorial language,” one that has resulted in an original body of work. Neuenschwander does not rely on the paintbrush as his main form of expression. Rather, he works with his hands on the canvas, even mixing his colors there. That direct connection between the artist and his work gives his images a powerful energy.

That energy is combined with a sophisticated color sense and an elegant sense of composition. The colors in his work seem to glow with a light coming from within. The free, flowing lines are always balanced, and the drips of paint, while communicating a strong feeling of motion, also merge nicely into the overall form of his images. The artist’s goal of finding “new elements of expression” is successfully achieved through his provocative juxtaposition of methods and styles.

In Lillie Simpson ’s paintings, a vibrant palette and free-flowing sense of composition create a world that the artist encapsulates in one word: “life.” That liveliness is expressed in the bold colors of the acrylic and oil paints which Simpson uses as well as in the varied textures and scenes she captures. In some of her works, color and form are employed in abstract patterns. Her ability to balance intense and subtle shades gives these paintings a three-dimensional quality and keeps the viewer’s eye in constant motion.

Simpson’s more recent paintings are focused on the life and culture of the Gullah people of South Carolina and Georgia. In these images, she mixes the formal qualities of her abstract works with an expressive depiction of the coastal landscape and its people. The sense of light and air, along with the strong sense of movement, result in engaging images that make the people Simpson depicts come vividly alive. “It’s as though those who had no voice now have one through faint whispers in my creations,” she says.

Inspired by Zen, ancient Chinese philosophy and Western philosophy, Wei Xiong ’s expansive oil paintings linger in spiritual and postmodern idioms with provocative power. Formerly a Fashion Designer based in Los Angeles, Xiong’s careful compositions dabble in the expressive language of visual poetry. Subtle beds of hazy shading give way to dynamic scribbles and crystalline watery slopes. Characterized by slithering ribbons of pigment intersecting atmospheric color fields and delicious void space, Xiong’s paintings on linen and canvas hold impressive psychological weight. At once densely cerebral and momentously abstract, through subtle color gradation, meandering lines and galloping clouds of shadow Wei Xiong’s paintings evidence a brilliant marriage of the artist’s worldly wisdom, metaphysical leanings and painterly expertise.