Gallery View: Impressionist fun at State
"Frills, Furs & Feathers," an exhibit of paintings by Carol Magnatta, through March 26, Easton Hospital Gallery, State Theatre for the Arts, Easton, is sensual and illustrative. Magnatta's portraits of women dressed in feminine and frilly apparel evoke the romance of the past.
A few years ago, while sketching with a drawing group that used models, Magnatta began first in pastels, which soon led to her creating the magnificently grand portraits in oil on view at the State gallery.
"I wanted to express the raw emotions of these girls dressed up in their crazy garb," says Magnatta, "It's been really amusing for me to play with the theme. That's the perfect word, 'play.' It's all about fun."
Magnatta's work indeed evokes a sense of delight and whimsy, all the while calling to mind the cloudy dream-like paintings of impressionist masters like Degas and Cassatt.
Magnatta's nudes, still-lifes, florals, and city and beach landscapes have the same wonderfully impressionistic quality. Her landscape work pretty and romantic suggests a sense of calm reverence for her subjects.
"This work was a real breakthrough for me," smiles Magnatta, "I just do what I love."
That love is evident in her portraits. The female figures are a feast for the eyes, with their colorful apparel and mischievous looks and poses.
Magnatta has received several awards for her paintings and has shown her work throughout the region, including in Easton and Bethlehem, as well as New Hope and Lambertville, N.J., and New York City.