A second-generation Italian American inspired by a sojourn in southern Italy, Cianne Fragione makes mixed-media abstractions that seem to contain bits of the old country. The layered, heavily worked surfaces give an archaeological vibe to the pictures in Gallery Neptune & Brown’s “Dancing the Tarantella.” The predominantly light-colored drawing-paintings suggest walls craggy with centuries of plaster and paint.
The local artist’s work also incorporates words, paper shreds and bits of fabric. A series inspired by an older Italian woman who befriended Fragione includes “Blue Dress on the Balcony,” in which a scrap of sumptuous color gleams like a patch of azure sky on a gray-skied day. More mythologically, a wisp of lace curls through a picture named for the tale in which Zeus, in the form of a swan, has his way with Leda, a mortal woman.
Fragione was formerly a professional dancer, and the show’s title refers to the communal dance in the Calabrian village where she lived for a time. The artist doesn’t explicitly represent dancing, but there’s motion in the loose gestures drawn with pencil and crayon or incised into pigment.
Cianne Fragione: Dancing the Tarantella On view through Oct. 8
Neptune Fine Art
1530 14th Street NW
Washington, DC 20005