Mara De Luca

Lilith and the Sun

TOTAH
183 Stanton Street
New York
Lower East Side
May 5th 2021 — Jul 10th 2021

Find out more

Long inspired by the contradictory qualities that exist within the same subjects—the unresolved tension of Los Angeles’s natural and artificial landscape, for instance—Mara De Luca’s new group of paintings, on view at TOTAH, move between the material and the immaterial. Beginning with two colors and blending them on the canvas, De Luca develops her abstract compositions through expressive brushstrokes and tangible interventions. She knows that a work is done when it becomes the feeling of the sky, the light, or a certain time of day. 

With their hazy and luminous colors, De Luca’s suite of skyscapes recall the work of Rothko and Frankenthaler as much as they do Tiepolo and Turner: she makes use of the kind of transcendent illumination that spans Renaissance, Romantic, and Abstract Expressionist painting. De Luca cites the influence of the AbEx movement’s gestural scale and distillation of color as well as the expansive vistas memorialized in Baroque art’s illusionistic painted ceilings, whose radiant cloudscapes seem to open up to the skies above. It is from these converging art historical sites that her unique visual language emerges: by focusing on creating fields of light, De Luca makes paintings that you can fall into. In Dusk Haze (East to West) (2019)[pictured], for example, a delicate gradient of clouds fading across a seemingly infinite sky is bisected by a copper plate—as much a sharp metal cut into the heavens as it is a visual interruption.

Mara De Luca, Dusk Haze (East to West), 2019. Acrylic on canvas over panel with copper plated element, 48 × 68 inches.

  • Through
    Jun 6th

    A traveling exhibition of 69 oil paintings, watercolors and works on paper aims to chart Milton Avery’s trajectory and contextualize his work for a new generation.

  • Through
    May 29th

    Inspired by fractals, Renee Cox’s deity-like collages of Black figures constitute an Afrofuturist creation myth.

  • Through
    Jun 6th

    An economical survey of Jonas Mekas, “The Camera Was Always Running” serves as a touching introduction to the Lithuanian filmmaker and champion of avant-garde cinema.

  • Through
    May 28th

    The work in Valentina Vaccarella’s “Bless this Life” rests on a simple irony: monogrammed, embroidered French bridal linens pulled taut across stretcher bars and besmirched by rough images of modern madams.

  • Through
    Jun 6th

    Daniel Lie’s “Unnamed Entities” at the New Museum challenges the antiseptic aim of curation and conservation by imagining a different kind of organic art that needs to be nurtured rather than preserved.

  • Ongoing

    Dia’s recent acquisition of works by Charles Gaines forms the basis of this survey, which includes the artist’s first forays into mathematics-based grid drawings and other early experiments in medium and form.

  • Ongoing

    Day’s End, an elegiac memorial to and stubborn ghost of eras bygone, will also serve as silent witness to the inevitable changes to come.

  • Through
    Jan 2nd 2023

    The sonic encounters provoked by Camille Norment’s elaborate acoustic artworks serve as agents for social consciousness.

  • Through
    May 28th

    The words masterful and mastery assert themselves the instant one encounters the works in “My Body,” both for Nancy Grossman’s command of a wide range of skills and her active state of dominance, identity and selfhood.