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Joanne McFarland, Seeing the Light

A.I.R. Gallery
511 West 25th Street, #301, 212-255-6651
April 3 - April 28, 2007
Reception: Tuesday, April 3, 6 - 8 PM
Web Site

In Seeing the Light McFarland continues her exploration of the dress as spiritual container, expanding that vision to include sunlight-infused stoops leading to imagined interiors. Within these erotically-charged settings figures seem otherworldly, hovering between angel and shaman. In particular, an antique doll, prominently featured in several paintings, starkly black with scarlet lips, appears alternately to be master of her destiny or abandoned to her fate.

In Untendered, (the sole painting to offer a direct gaze) the subject’s hands and face are joined at the heart of the painting amidst folds of elaborate material. This work speaks to the idea of the psychological independence that can lie beneath sexual or societal conventions. What at first appears to be a portrait becomes, through the quirky positioning of the figure and her magnetic gaze and blended ancestries, a statement on transcending expectations.

The primarily large scale paintings in Seeing the Light are a departure from McFarland’s earlier work on paper. Through the medium of oil paint the theme of emotive radiance takes on new focus; the dress - as a kind of psychic portal - reaches its full fruition here.
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