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Alison Blickle's "History of Magic Part 1... The Hermitage" on view at Eleanor Harwood Gallery
Alison Blickle, The Visitor, 2012 (detail). Glazed & fired porcelain ceramics.


SAN FRANCISCO, CA.- The exhibition of new oil paintings and glazed porcelain delves further into Alison's style of hyper-detailed and fantastical realism. Drawn from a diverse range of influences from the Pre-Raphaelites and the Post-Impressionists, to Russian fairy tale illustration and Art Deco design, the paintings create a tension as this heritage of styles meld into a vision of another time. Displayed as a series of small installations, the paintings will be shown alongside a collection of ceramic mementos also created by the artist. The ceramics relate to the narrative of each piece and are mirrored in the paintings. These actualized relics further envelop the viewer into the painting's scene.

Story and character development are an increasingly significant component to Alison's work. The show will be the first chapter in a series of "History of Magic" exhibitions, which will tell the tale of a mystic who lives alone in the woods and sets out on a journey to create a mysterious object that will change the world. In part a creation myth with roots in folklore, the story achieves mythology as a "reverse Pandora's box" and stems from the artists interest in these moralizing fables that have persevered throughout human history.

The show takes its title from a nineteenth-century French book on sacred imagery and mysticism. As the first chapter, "The Hermitage" relates to the spiritual component of Alison's work, as a type of monastery space that combines work and devotion. The installations themselves can be seen as altarpieces, in reference to the nature of her art practice and her childhood in a Wiccan home.

Artist Statement
My paintings let me live out fantasies through characters I create. These stories often involve my desire to feel a connection to something bigger than myself-- to nature, to my ancestors, or to a sense of spirituality. I’ve created an alter ego who appears as a recurring protagonist in my paintings. This imaginary version of me is who I wish I could be-- a strong, fearless hero engaged in exploration and adventures.

I like to daydream about living in the woods, being completely at home in the wilderness, and having an intuitive understanding of the living things around me. In reality, when I find myself in a forest or in a desert canyon, I don't have the profound sense of belonging that I expect. Instead I feel like a spectator in a beautiful, mysterious world that is not mine. It's too far removed from the world I beling to. A deep connection to nature is at odds with our current culture, but I want to be a part of both of them. An aspect of my work explores the question-- how can we stay in touch with the wild parts of ourselves while living within the order of a “civilized” way of life?

My family is full of eccentrics. A chat on the phone may involve topics like shamanism, animal guides, wicca, tree-sitting, talking to plants, or hypnotherapy. People often turn to these kinds of practices for a sense of belonging and meaning that is lacking in our culture. While my logical side can't help but judge these practices as wishful thinking, part of me believes they are real. They offer the potential for the world to be a fantastical place. My work touches on the conflict between my attraction to mystical tradition, and my skepticism of it.






Today's News

May 9, 2013

Venice removes controversial Boy with Frog statue by American artist Charles Ray

Cezanne painting goes for $41.6 million at Sotheby's Auction of Impressionist and Modern Art

The New York Public Library unveils award-winning designs for new 53rd Street Library

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston reopens renovated Art of the Netherlands in the 17th Century Gallery

Rich sampling of several major bodies of recent work by Jeff Koons on view at Gagosian New York

Claremont's 75th brochure highlights antique carpets from "Second Golden Age of Persian Weaving"

Rare Renaissance bust by sculptor Benedetto da Rovezzano acquired by Minneapolis Institute of Arts

Discovered painting of Elizabeth I to go on display as National Portrait Gallery announces major exhibition

Photographs capture the imagination at Bonhams New York May 7 Photographs Auction

Galerie Jaeger Bucher in Paris announces the death of Swiss artist Michael Biberstein

Rare handscroll from the Qing Dynasty of China goes on display at Chester Beatty Library, Dublin

The Medici gem collectors of the Italian Renaissance come to Bowers Museum

"HEIMsuchung: Uncanny Spaces in Contemporary Art" opens at Kunstmuseum Bonn

Alison Blickle's "History of Magic Part 1... The Hermitage" on view at Eleanor Harwood Gallery

Howard Greenberg Gallery exhibition surveys the history and culture of 1963

Childe Hassam's 1920 oil painting "The East Hampton Elms in May" climbs to $288,000 at Shannon's

The ICA announces Katarina Burin as winner of the 2013 James and Audrey Foster Prize

Abraaj Group Art Prize 2014 Guest Curator announced

PULSE New York 2013 opens at the Metropolitan Pavilion in New York City

AAMD member museums to celebrate Art Museum Day on May 18

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