Joseph Sossi / Maria Kondratiev

Recluse: Maria Kondratiev and Joseph Sossi

In Recluse, Maria Kondratiev and Joseph Sossi both create psychological landscapes that are quiet, emotional and ethereal. Both painters work intuitively from memory and imagination. These desolate spaces redefine landscape painting as exterior space begins to reveal a deeper interior. These works exhibit the language of the subconscious, where one might discover mysterious imagery, connections and meaningful symbols through the painting process.

Maria Kondratiev's imaginative paintings oscillate between abstraction and narrative. Her alla-prima minimal outdoor spaces contain dreamlike figures that come in and out of focus. The figure floats away and suddenly all that is left is a dark forest, or mountains at midnight or midday. This reclusive viewer stands both inside the painting while outside looking in. This viewer contemplates the landscape or his own reflection with a combination of familiarity, bewilderment and awe. The recluse here might also represent the anonymous and always alone painter/viewer, fluctuating between the two. Or maybe the recluse represents the isolated experiences we all have and never share.

Joseph Sossi's paintings harbor a discreet power similar to the force of an old tree or an engulfing sky. This work captures the existential isolation of a lonely traveler in imagery and feeling. Joseph Sossi approaches his work the way a caterpillar might spin itself into a cocoon; the work happens in layers, each informing the next. He is taking the essence of memory and breaking it down to its essential parts. We can see nature’s reoccurring veiling of what's underneath. His representational works recall memories of road trips in unfamiliar landscapes. As in the painting process, the journey itself appears to be the destination.