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Hitoko Urago pairs paintings — portraits with abstractions — though each work is not necessarily conceived at the same time. “Untitled (Lynda)” (2012), for example, depicts a profile of a black woman with big hair against a green background. She is paired with a soft, spotty green abstraction, which becomes more of a chromatic harmony complementing the visage.

The pairing makes the artist’s extremely beautiful women all the more alluring. In “Triangular Utopia ‘Connected’/ I go to bed” (2012), we get a vortex of orange and red triangular abstraction paired with a full-length portrait of a woman in a see-through nightgown open to the navel, breasts bared. It is nearly unavoidable to link the hot colors and pointed abstraction to the come-hither eyes and overt sexual disposition. Such subject matter is related to Urago’s art training and her work styling models while living in London.

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