October 2: Paintings by Victor Mirabelli comprise the current exhibition at the Argazzi Gallery in Lakeville, CT. The artist painted these large, for the most part square images especially for this show.
Mirabelli grew up in Washington State not far from the Columbia River. His work perfectly expresses how he was “drawn to the dry, arid summer air blanketing the sagebrush hills where weather beaten farmhouses stood abandoned along dusty dirt roads.”
"Rural Fancy" by Victor Mirabelli
His white houses have the haunting quality of buildings that stand empty after long years of abandonment. Some are single houses, their walls pierced by narrow windows that stare at us with ghostly eyes Others present blank faces to the onlooker. The barns either stand alone or attached to the houses. The buildings rise out of a landscape bereft of trees. In a few pieces everything is partly obscured by mist.
"Dusty Sage" by Victor Mirabelli
Mirabelli’s uses a muted palette of greys, whites and the dark browns and greens of the earth. In some paintings, faint accents of steel blue indicate a shadow; in others a dash of ocher delineates a roof. He applies his pigments in layers, which he then scrubs and brushes into the canvas. The light that seems to emanate from within the buildings themselves defines these paintings and gives them their almost otherworldly character. To me they call to mind the landscapes described by Ernest Hemingway.
Victor Mirabelli lives and works in Newburgh.