Driscoll Babcock Galleries is pleased to present, Drop Dead Gorgeous, the latest body of work by Marylyn Dintenfass, whose brilliant chromatic abstractions evolve to evoke a representational narrative about nature’s 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 nature’s most beautiful, but dangerous plants. A focus of the show is the Angel’s Trumpet flower, a ravishing and singular beauty whose exquisite deadliness is iconic. Dintenfass’ vibrant abstractions of the Angel Trumpet’s shapes and forms conjure the plant’s 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 won’t 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!
ABOUT MARYLYN DINTENFASS Marylyn Dintenfass is an internationally known artist whose work is found in major public, corporate and private collections in Denmark, England, Israel, Italy, Japan and the United States. Among the institutions that have acquired her work are: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Cleveland Museum of Art, Detroit Institute of Arts, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Mississippi Museum of Art, Minneapolis Institute of Arts and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Her 2010 Parallel Park installation in Fort Myers, Florida is one of the largest and most noteworthy public art projects of the last decade. A two-time MacDowell Fellow, Dintenfass’ work has been widely reviewed and her 2011 Babcock Galleries exhibition was selected as one of the top 100 shows by Modern Painters.
ABOUT JOHN DRISCOLL John Driscoll, PH.D, is a scholar, collector, and art dealer based in New York City. He has owned Driscoll Babcock Galleries since 1987, and has previously held professional appointments at the Palmer Museum of Art, William H. Lane Foundation, Worcester Art Museum, Yale University and New York University. Driscoll has written extensively on American art, is directing the John F. Kensett Catalogue Raisonné Project, and has been the curator, co-curator or a contributor to exhibitions that have traveled to more than twenty leading museums including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the National Academy of Design, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the National Gallery of Art. He has championed the careers of John Kensett, Marsden Hartley, Ambrose Webster, Charles Sheeler, Edwin Dickinson, Don Nice and Alan Gussow. Driscoll serves on the Advisory Board of the Palmer Museum of Art, the board of the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art and on the Visiting Committee, Department of Drawings and Prints, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
ABOUT DRISCOLL BABCOCK GALLERIES Driscoll Babcock Galleries, founded in 1852 by John Snedecor, is the oldest gallery in New York City, and the nation’s oldest gallery, which from its inception, has focused on American art. During Dr. Driscoll’s tenure, the gallery has helped to secure numerous prized works for major private collectors and museums across the country including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; National Gallery of Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery, all in Washington, D.C.; The Cleveland Museum, The Detroit Institute of Arts, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Greenville County Museum of Art, South Carolina; Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville Arkansas; The Kemper in Kansas City, The Museum of Fine Arts-Houston and dozens of other museums.
For additional information and images contact: Eunice Kim At [email protected] or 646 753 9061`