‘Short Stories’ paintings are vibrant, striking

The paintings in Kathryn Carovano’s show, “Short Stories,” demonstrate her quintessential style: lots of rusty oranges and blues, simple but striking compositions, and layers of paint scraped back in places to reveal more layers underneath. Unlike some other artists who use this technique without much benefit to the composition (mostly on the insistence that its use constitutes some deep metaphorical tension between the hidden and the revealed), Carovano demonstrates an awareness of the visual characteristics that scraping back paint layers brings to the canvas, and uses this method skillfully in the overall construction of the work. The result is a vibrant visual world that throbs on both ends of the lights spectrum.

Carovano, whose remarkable talent has been honed by just a handful of art classes at UAA, has been painting for eight years. The current show, she said, is an expression of two ends of the emotive spectrum. In many of the works, the figures or characters convey a cathartic release of either deep loss or immense joy.

The show’s title was inspired by the approach Carovano took to this group of works, she said.

“I was looking at gestures that inspired me, and they ended up as a body of work suggesting stories,” Carovano said. “But I tried to keep the paintings simpler than I sometimes do, which is why I thought of them as short stories.”

“Short Stories” by Kathryn Carovano will be on display in the North Gallery of the International Gallery of Contemporary Art (427 D St.) through Nov. 2.