Anastasia Pelias at Ferrara

Are there more coincidences in this city than elsewhere? It often seems that way, as evidenced by three abstract painting shows on Julia Street that remarkably, yet unintentionally, complement each other via surprising atmospheric and calligraphic synergies. In fact, Nola artist Anastasia Pelias' new Sisters oil stick paintings may be her most deftly atmospherically gestural works to date. Rendered in swatches of drippy sea mists, emphatic charcoal smudges and subtle wisps of color, all were painted while listening to recordings of female singers for whom each of the paintings are named. While painting to music is nothing new, Pelias' lithe charcoal gestures actually do convey a sense of choreographic fluidity. Reminiscent of Edo period Japanese ink studies where calligraphy and imagery seem to have knocked back some saki and danced a tango together, works like Joni evoke ethereal musical sequences hovering precariously in the air. Patsy, top left, recalls a mysterious Asian pictograph radiating secret meanings, or maybe just plans for a hermit hut cobbled from driftwood and old kimonos. Deftly yet playfully executed, Sisters seems a promising new direction for Pelias.