Roberts Gallery Blog
Roberts Gallery Blog

Words About the Artist

Over the course of her career, through numerous bodies of work, Nada Sesar-Raffay has tackled themes that have included architectural forms, turbulent weather patterns and urban chaos through her deft painterly compositions. In her current body of work, the artists’ integration of media such as pen and ink, acrylic and oil paint result in a frenzied, vibrancy where the cacophony of materials fuse to entice viewers to excavate the multi-layered surfaces. The combination of line drawing, swashes of liquid colour and matte, textual forms pull the eye through composite deposits of personal “hieroglyphics” that oscillate between the foreground and background. In some of the artists’ paintings, Sesar-Raffay’s expressive process is as much about the content of the work as is the painted composition/intention. Her burrowing and scratching through the paint, the layering of linear dark lines and the build up of texture are all left on the canvas surface for the viewer to decipher. For instance in the Still Hot painting, the viewer might ask if the flower forms are wilting in the heat or are they resisting with all their might. Are the layered architectural forms disappearing/reappearing or simply existing in a daze of stillness fraught with a vulnerable impermanence? Her dense textural buildup seems to indicate that they will both persevere. In her I Smell Summer painting, she continues the theme of intense heat where her discernible forms of trees and building structures are less “concrete” as they practically wither off the canvas surface in front of our eyes, emblazoned by a burning background sunset. Inadvertently, though her composition and use of materials, the artist reminds us that neither the artist nor the viewer is impervious to the looming stages of climate change. Her ‘In My Head’ painting, on the other hand, is painted in cooler tones that seem to reference a lightness of water and air that are contrasted to a foreground urban metropolis that is perhaps in the midst of receiving cooler night air. Once again her expressive use of materials and composition resonate with the sentiments of the artist as she beckons the night through a virtual orchestra of colour, form and texture that sing the joy of a productive days work and quite probably, relief from the heat of the day.

Kelly McCray