Presenting clearly contrasting forms that either plunge or soar, Elizabeth Dorazio’s paintings – the subject-matter of which is water – are a reflection on vitality and driving force, and once again situate themselves, within the artist’s pictorial realm, as a contribution on the fragility of the gaze that barely touches upon reality.
Do the paintings approximate reality at all? In her works, the canvas surface unveils an unpretentious visual effect: Masses of water plunge down from the canvas to flow over us, only to spout again in the next painting, soaring above our heads. This sequence is repeated canvas after canvas, thus perpetuating the plunging and soaring effects, engulfing us in the soft mists that are induced by the paintings. Hovering and evaporation are two conditions that capture the gaze… and enthrall the viewers already surrounded by the mist emerging from the the surface of the canvas.
The artist’s permanent quest is one for a reference that resorts to transparency in order to address the gaze, not only regarding the construction of an image, its divestment of color, or sheer technique, but actually in fact for an expedient that prepares the one’s gaze for the revelation of the truth of the forms of nature, of their beauty and purity.
The haziness in Dorazio’s paintings compels us to ponder on about the limits of our ability of visual perception. What is the actual range of our field of vision? How “real” is the painting? Is its existence restricted to the superimposed colors that concurrently form a picture and destroy it, inexorably casting it into a world of sensation rather than of comprehension?
We plunge into these stirring issues that lead us to reflection: The layers of paint are time – revealing and thus oblige us to view them as a memory of time, which we can serenely assume to be part of the present. Elizabeth Dorazio’s paintings emanate reveal her inclination towards spirituality that reiterates a continuous attempt to reconcile us with the world.
Passion and devotion are inherent to Elizabeth Dorazio’s artistic production. In her permanent dedication to her work, she is untiring, nearly obsessive, and her art-making is blended with reflections on the issues that concern her. Dorazio’s virtually monastic devotion enhances both her quest for sacredness as well as the permanent endeavor of seeking for, and redeeming, a spirituality that the human condition rarely tends to approach. Ultimately, this spirituality can only be reinstated through the pursuit of harmony with nature.
At the same time, Elizabeth Dorazio’s paintings resist the scrutiny of our gaze and reveal themselves as mere recoveries of a subjective and almost superficial reality that our eyes hesitate to discern. These pictures bestow themselves as a gift onto our gaze as sacred offerings within the that sacred place which is life.
Critic Art Historian