Dress Rehearsal

Florence-based artist Elizabeth Stone, who, not surprisingly, comes from a background in the fashion industry, has clearly retained at least some of her passion for clothing: the textural qualities of fabric and the resulting nuances of light and shadow. Add in serious attention to color, some racy subject matter that borders on voyeurism and some nods to classical concepts like the triptych, and you’ve got DRESS/UNDRESS: Figurative Art by Elizabeth Stone, on display at the Northampton Center for the Arts through Nov. 30.

Stone, who works in oils, pastels and charcoal and has recently embraced sculptural media as well, traces her artistic inclinations back at least two generations, and has nurtured a skill developed because of a set of pastels inherited in the 1990s (gifted to her by her grandfather). Her fondness for still life and figure studies are perhaps only superseded by her love of portraiture, where the subtleties of psychological subtext and hidden emotion can shine through in a deftly captured moment or series of moments. Still, it may be the intricacies of couture that have worked the most formative and permanent seductions on the artist, who seems to regard the obsession as two-sided: “Clothing has always been my artistic expression,” she’s quoted as saying on the Center for the Arts’ website. “Now it is the subject of my art.”

Through Nov. 30, Northampton Center for the Arts, 17 New South St., Northampton, (413) 584-7327, http://www.nohoarts.org.

Author: Tom Sturm

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