A few weeks ago I received an e-mail from Marc Dennis, thanking me for some old Giornale posts which, he wrote, had aided him in his research for a lecture on the subject of Insects in Art that he had delivered for the New York Entomological Society. Mr. Dennis added that I might be interested in certain of his paintings, and, after a quick perusal of the works on display at his website, I replied that yes, indeed I was.
His compositions are usually simple yet bold examples of beautifully-rendered realism, though seldom without some ironic twist. In the first of the two beguiling seascapes above, for example, the swell in the foreground of the picture is explained by the painting’s title: Seascape with Submarine. The columns of spray in the second image? Seascape with Machine Gunfire. ‘Rather than trashing art history,’ writes one critic, ‘Marc Dennis uses it to make contemporary social commentary.’
Through the appropriation of a visually decadent style of historical painting, I attempt at infusing the notions of beauty and seduction with new symbolic criteria and attitude.
With a light-handed use of narrative and metaphor, I’d like to think that my style of realism, in its lucid objectivity, results in a kind of nervous beauty and irrational disquiet.
Dennis has been exhibiting his work since the early ’90s, and his paintings have been on show at such prestigious locales as The National Portrait Gallery at the Smithsonian; the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, and the Cleveland Museum of Art. He is currently represented by the Hirschl and Adler Gallery in New York. He also works as an Asssociate Professor of Art at Elmira College in upstate New York.
The first four of the images above were scanned from a catalogue of a 2003 exhibition devoted to Dennis’s paintings at the Ricco/Maresca Gallery, also in New York, while the remainder of them were sent to me by the artist. Other paintings of his can be found at the websites of the Hooks-Epstein Galleries, Houston; the Bettcher Gallery, Miami; the Tory Folliard Gallery, Milwaukee and the G. Gibson Gallery, Seattle. All of these images are copyright © Marc Dennis, and are reproduced here with permission.Posted by misteraitch at June 21, 2007 01:28 PM