The Playfulness of Abstraction

By Frank Thoms

Kathleen Cammarata’s paintings and drawings examine the place and terrain of imaginary worlds subject to growth, change, and rebirth. Responding to the attention we devote to the ways in which we manipulate nature, Cammarata asks, “What would nature say back to us?” Her drawings and paintings teem with life of the strangest variety, presenting nature as dynamic ambiguous characters. The forms are purposely seductive against a black sky. They are robust as well as sensual, rotund as well as elongated. They kiss, they spit, they hiss, they drip, they spew. They stick their tongues out.

The Playfulness of Abstraction
By Kathleen Cammarata
Sun, Dec 7, 1-4pm
Esperanza Studio
Alameda 6
Col. San Antonio

Cammarata’s work is playful. Tampering with known sayings, she titles her paintings in ways that combine humor with seriousness. “Foot LOOSE” and “fancy FREE” depicts an assortment of interlocking shapes. One shape on the top left is “foot loose,” the drifter. The yellow-red-green character moves into deep space away from the condensed grouping.

Cammarata’s forms have a tangible, literal presence created through a highly illusionistic manner. “What GOES around COMES around” presents interactions between and among a variety of brilliantly colored species. Biomorphic shapes emerge from a vast blackness, and everything is in flux. Forms touch or almost touch, interacting in a swirl of highly charged relationships.

The artist explores the limitations of the ways in which we see the world versus what is actually out there. In “The GRASS is GREENER on the other side,” planetary shapes with diaphanous coloring communicate by emitting an ellipse, comma, question mark, and period. The punctuation marks, conventionally used as a means of understanding written text, represent nature’s way of making a point. The central planet in the painting carries a hint of green and the promise of another layer of life.  She paints of the duality of nature’s randomness and purposefulness.

Intensely complex and consumed by nature’s spiritual energy, Cammarata’s works reward close examination. She explores the significance of materiality and transformation, creation and decay, with a touch of wit. What IS nature saying to us? You may catch a smile crossing your face.

Her work can be seen at Esperanza Studio, Alameda 6, Colonia San Antonio on Sunday December 7th from 1 to 4 pm or by appointment at You can preview the work on her website:


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