By Raschid Osman
Guyana Chronicle
April 27, 2003

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A FAMOUS stage and screen actor once observed that less is more. Laurence Olivier was noted for his restrained and yet colourful performances.

And in the world of watercolours, artist Maria Ines Lukacs works with a similar imperative. The Brazilian artist works primarily with greens and blues, with an occasional dash of crimson and gold.

With these she has fashioned a fascinating body of work, with refined simplicity, and a gorgeous range of transparencies, evoking the magic woven by an actor who is master of muted but yet colourful performances.

The work of the Brazilian-born Ines Lukacs was on show at Castellani House in Georgetown recently. Her woods and landscapes have graced galleries in Europe and the Far East and in the New World. She is an associate of the American Watercolour Society, and was featured in its January 2001 newsletter.

The pieces on show at Castellani House are all of a piece: landscapes evoking the subtlest of moods, making use of merely the tiniest of variations in transparencies. With this meticulous sensitivity, the artist creates wonders.

Her Waters and Sky, River Bank and Light are studies in changing moods, even though the not discerning eye would dismiss them at first glance for their seeming sameness.

And so, Ines Lukacs’ works must not be just glanced at. They demand more than a casual look if their worthiness is to be appreciated and enjoyed.

There is serenity in her Like a Mirror, with minimally represented birds stitching their way diagonally across the sky above a river in which is reflected the forest above it.

The birds are the only creatures in Lukacs’ country.

In The Fog, the menace of a misty envelopment is very much there, though it is just hinted at. This allows the same tingling excitement of a Hitchcock movie in which the violence is only implied, and takes place off-screen.

Ines Lukacs is so determined not to shout at her viewers, that even with Forest On Fire, she manages to maintain a characteristic and, some might feel, unfeeling detachment.

Her forest ablaze is a study in restraint. The raging colours are seen as through a protective glaze, sending the conflagration far away and emasculating it of the terror and death inherent in such a phenomenon.

But then that is Maria Ines Lukacs.

And one can only respect her for the mistress of subtleties that she is.

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