WESTPORT — An exploration of color and surfaces is key to two new exhibitions opening June 29 at MoCA Westport.

Work by contemporary artists Richard Tsao and Sao will be on display June 29 through late August at the museum, 19 Newtown Turnpike.

An opening reception for both exhibits will take place at 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 28.

The event is free for MoCA members and $10 for the general public. To register in advance, click here

The exhibits are: 

Richard Tsao, “Moon Dust” 

Richard Tsao: “The Constant Gardener,” from June 29-Aug. 20: Tsao, a New York City resident born in Thailand, paints on canvas and wood, manipulating “pure pigment with an alchemist’s instincts in an approach that leaves his work vibrantly colored,” the museum says in a publicity release. 

“With pigment thoroughly encrusting the canvas or wood supports, and with sections of the encrustations sticking out well beyond the supports’ edges, Tsao’s works are less painted than accumulated — they may be years in the making,” according to the release.

The use of brilliant color has been a key element of Tsao’s style over the years. In his first solo New York exhibit at the Queens Museum in 1995, featuring color-saturated, multi-layered paintings, Tsao’s work was described as “chromatically opulent, process-intensive abstraction” in a New York Times review of the show.

Sao, Untitled

Sao: “Inner Landscapes,” on view June 29-Aug. 27: A resident of the Southport section of Fairfield, the Portugal-born Sao creates “meditative” compositions that “use horizontal lines and gestures suggestive of landscapes, while layers of refined colors are applied to create luminous washes,” according to a museum publicity release.

“Light within each artwork emanates serenity, spirituality and light — these meditative spaces invite viewers to explore and engage with the paintings on a deeper level, both visually and emotionally,” the museum says.

“Richard Tsao and Sao create a spiritual, joyous experience with each artwork, and present the depths of meanings, feelings and relationships we have with color in our lives and in the world at every moment,” Liz Leggett, the museum’s director of exhibitions, said in the press statement.

New gallery hours at MoCA Westport — noon to 4 p.m. Thursday through Sunday — take effect on June 29. Docent-led gallery tours are offered at 1 p.m. Thursdays and Saturdays.

 For questions, contact Leggett at liz@mocawestport.org or 203-222-7070.