On April 11, Dorothy Circus Gallery in Rome will present “Nocturnalia” by Italian artist Seven Moods and “Head in The Clouds” by Swiss artist Zoe Byland, two side-by-side solo shows with overlapping themes. Both artists use primarily monochromatic palettes to create paintings with a sense of mystery and suspense — sometimes even foreboding. Byland’s paintings riff on 19th-century family photographs. Without any adults in sight, the little girls posing gracefully in her work are privy to magical apparitions and strange happenings. Viewers are left to wonder whether these supernatural occurrences are the product of the characters’ imaginations, or perhaps ghostly visitors caught on camera.
A connection between women and the supernatural is palpable in Seven Moods’ work, as well. The artist’s new oil paintings feature young ladies enacting various rituals in the dead of night. Seven Moods adorns them with geometric patterns that flatten the work and give it an illustrative quality. The show invites viewers to suspend disbelief and enter the night, where anything is possible.