In the Garden
13 March - 17 April 2014
In this, her third show at Gimpel Fils, Michelle Dovey continues to paint her translucent, intense and almost surreal images of trees and woods. The show's title, In the Garden, points to the displaced nature of the subject, since garden is not necessarily the image that comes to mind on a first viewing. Trees, or a tree, stand as objects devoid of any necessary link to a botanical reference - although this is not excluded - and the colours are sufficiently vivid as to echo the Expressionist movement. Although Dovey's interest in depictions of nature were triggered by an observation of Stubbs' use of foliage as a screen to his animal paintings, she quickly expanded her source material to a reflection on eighteenth century depiction of nature as a sublime, both in and outside the Romantic movement.
The trees in this exhibition surround Michelle Dovey in her new home in west Wales. This includes some mature oaks, one of which is several centuries old and is the subject of six large canvases. Close observation of the changing light as it reflects off the trunks and branches, is a constant preoccupation. Of the paintings in this exhibition, Dovey writes:
I took the route of painting what was most meaningful to me in terms of subject matter, day by day, it varied from a branch, the trunk, the branches extending towards me relative to the branches extending away, the holes where previous branches had dropped off. The sensory experience played a large part in the process. Each painting is painted in one sitting, plein air, on one day. Because of this, my focus is on trying to get it all down and decision making is intuitive.
Born in Oxford, Michelle Dovey was raised in New Zealand and received her Masters at the School of Visual Arts, New York in 1998. She has exhibited at E31 Gallery, Athens (2005), OneTwentyGallery, Gent (2007) and was included i n the group show Under the Greenwood: Picturing British Trees at St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery (2013). Her first solo exhibition was held at Gimpel Fils in 2006 and she lives and works in Wales.
Also showing Albert Irvin: Small Works on Canvas