Mother’s Magazine: Danielle Orchard Returns to Jack Hanley Gallery
A cupped hand offering three ripe cherries beckons visitors to Danielle Orchard's second solo show at Jack Hanley Gallery. Mother's Magazine is a delicious feast on canvas where more cherries and other tasty distractions invite proverbial food for thought.
Almost two years since her debut show A Little Louder, Love, the Brooklyn painter suffuses the spacious Lower Manhattan gallery with beguiling images of languid, female figures ensconced in mellow nonchalance. Borrowing Cubist aesthetics, Orchard's brushwork creates light and perspective.
"I'm influenced by the layered space and fragmentation that define Analytical Cubism; with these paintings I aim to join that art historical precedent to the real, lived experience of feminine physicality." Aside from the "growing cast of muses, objects, and new but similar contexts," Orchard also uses new tools of trade to paint on a larger scale than ever before. "I'm using larger, less precise brushes, some of which were designed for other purposes. These brushes respond less predictably and almost demand experimentation."
Often filling both indoor and outdoor settings with suggestive details, each piece depicts a moment of leisure after a game of tennis, a relaxing moment at the beach or by the pool, a snapshot from the aftermath of a raunchy party, as well as intimate moments from the studio, bedroom, or bathroom. But within each scene, the artist further explores her technique while depicting anything from stained glass, over-sculptured surfaces, a variety of plants or animal skin patterns, all the way to landscape elements and underwater visuals.
With Mother’s Magazine, Orchard introduces a new body of work where "I'm forced to study a large painting, nearly constantly because it's too big and unwieldy to be quietly tucked away. The result of that constant study is accumulation and revision." The new pieces, spanning from 6 to 8 feet, are richer in detail and narrative, focusing on representations of the female body. "The women I paint are amalgams of personal memories, art historical references, and an evolving fantasy version of ordinary life in which the motivations and interior worlds of these characters are revealed and allowed to influence the visible world. Each of these characters is distracted and directed by a sense of being watched. I’m interested in the inexorable role that drama and performance play in our everyday emotional lives, particularly in those of women, and how those dramas often fall short of expectation."
Incorporating elements from recognizable works of the modernist movements, Orchard presents the familiar in present time with new perspective, her subjects indulging in wine, cigarettes and luscious fruit–sated, comfy and confident.
Mother's Magazine is on view at Jack Hanley Gallery through March 1, 2020