Alice Denison: Posy Riot

Boston's Gallery NAGA

By: - Nov 02, 2022

Alice Denison: Posy Riot
November 11 - December 17, 2022
2022 concludes with an exhibition of exuberant new oil paintings by Alice Denison.
Denison refers to this large body of work as her Pangloss series and they are rooted in her interest in ornately rendered plants and flowers.  At once dreamlike and mysterious with a tangle of floating flora, they are now beginning to allude to a real place—it’s as if the tapestry has been lifted to reveal a distant landscape.     

In a statement for the exhibition, Denison writes,
I began this work in 2020, during the Covid pandemic, in my new studio in Florence, Massachusetts. Each one is a further step into the Pangloss series as I follow Candide’s advice and cultivate my garden. While the earlier Pangloss work was essentially orderly, (a garden in May), this group began like a garden in October, with plants encroaching on each other, intertwined, and overgrown. This is easiest to see in the two round works, where the series began. (I was still listening to news on the radio when I painted them, and as I look at them now, I think of my painter friend who said, “paintings don’t lie.”) 
The reference to tapestry is here still, but instead of putting paint down and leaving it, in most of the pieces I am lifting or wiping some of it back off, glazing over it and working new layers on top. This makes for ghosts, and with subsequent layers, that creates the illusion of depth. The works that are layered like this can be looked into, though they still have a flat surface. I keep the paint very thin; in many works the texture of the linen is visible, usually because a prior image vanished. Some pieces are landscape-like, a somewhat different direction but in keeping with my overall goal of creating work with complexity, rhythm, and space to get lost in.

 Alice Denison: Posy Riot is on exhibition from November 11 to December 17.  A reception for the artist and the public will be held at the gallery on Friday, November 11 from 5 to 7 pm.  The artist will also be at the gallery on Saturday, November 12 from 1 to 3 pm.
Concurrently, Gallery NAGA will be presenting our 8th annual Holiday "Smalls" exhibition in the back room—a little something for everyone.