NEW YORK, NY.- Driscoll Babcock Galleries
present, Drop Dead Gorgeous, the latest body of work by Marylyn Dintenfass, whose brilliant chromatic abstractions evolve to evoke a representational narrative about natures fatally duplicitous markers. Dintenfass work has always embodied the unease of nothing is ever what is seems in life and her newest canvases draw their inspiration from some of natures most beautiful, but dangerous plants. A focus of the show is the Angels Trumpet flower, a ravishing and singular beauty whose exquisite deadliness is iconic. Dintenfass vibrant abstractions of the Angel Trumpets shapes and forms conjure the plants stunning looks, its siren-like allure, and its toxicity.
Dintenfass latest work reaffirms her position as a significant figure in the rich tradition of colorists who explore the potent and evocative union of representation and abstraction: figures like James Turrell, Richard Diebenkorn, Mark Rothko, Morris Louis, Paul Klee, Henri Matisse and Paul Gauguin, all of whom she continues to respect, remarks John Driscoll, President of Driscoll Babcock. Driscoll also pointed to the paintings, more overtly sexual and sensual anatomical references, in which the sinister flower forms conjure genital appendages and vaginal slits in pulsing colors.
Critic Lilly Wei has written that Dintenfass painting is [l]ush but also astringent, with a glittered coolness and reserve that offsets its heat
a bracing example of an experiential painting for the present. In this remarkable group of new large scale paintings, Dintenfass has surely found the duality of the lush and the astringent, and the tantalizing and the toxic.
Dintenfass, while not an avid outdoors person, loves extreme wilderness adventures as a visual and creative reboot from art fairs, art galleries and museums: a way to completely drain my visual reservoirs of everything extraneous and fill my senses with fresh colors, shapes and forms, textures, light and shadows that renew and reenergize my creative vision. Riding the pounding rapids of the Snake River, heli-hiking on the remote mountains of British Columbia, or trekking the depths of Bryce Canyon, Dintenfass recognizes the peril of chance encounters with venomous snakes, predatory animals and toxic plants. Otherwise she says, the best interaction with nature is through a plate glass window. Dintenfass emphasizes that in Drop Dead Gorgeous, the lithe and beautiful plants that are her subject wont just make you sick, they are lethal, they kill you.
As in her previous work, Drop Dead Gorgeous evokes highly layered literal and ephemeral interpretations, reinforced by her method of paint application and removal, where she unites hardedge painting with soft brushstrokes. Her transparent layers of oil paint and the luminescence she achieves from her highly nuanced mixing of colors navigate a gestural relationship between light, line, and chroma. Dintenfass has always loved the interplay of blessings and curses, and in this new series of paintings, including diptychs and triptychs, she has increased the scale, heightened the intensity and simplified the visual layering to produce a powerful visual wallop!