Reynolds Gallery to exhibit new work by Alison Hall: for the white bird
September 6 @ 7:00 pm - November 1 @ 9:00 pm
Reynolds Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of new works by Virginian native Alison Hall. The artist’s second solo exhibition with the gallery; for the white bird will premiere with a public reception from 7 to 9pm on September 6 and will remain on view through November 1, 2019.
At first glance, Alison Hall’s paintings appear monochrome, light-absorbing surfaces of deeply saturated blues and various tones of black. As viewers engage in closer inspection, hundreds of intricate graphite points emerge and disappear, hand painted hexagons accumulate in groups with subtle tonal variations, seams develop, near-mystical forms appear, and mistakes are glimpsed. In these otherwise Minimalist-leaning panels, the dark layers of oil ground hold delicate elements of gesture, with deep hued borders built from a painter’s hand that wavers between improvisational luck and profound concentration.
Hall’s works are a testament to her relationship with ritual and repetition. She connects her labor-intensive paintings and sculptures to the generations of her family that worked in tobacco fields, as well as furniture and textile plants. Her practice encourages a physical and psychological devotion to process; from the preparation of her surfaces with numerous coats of plaster ground, created and sanded by hand, to the veils of pattern she constructs from the accumulation of graphite marks. Each line is carefully measured and placed, but Hall states, “I feel as if I never know the ending. The mistakes keep you from knowing the ending. Daily life and heartaches keep the endings elusive as well. Agnes Martin talks about the empty mind that occurs through work. I’m not there yet, but that’s okay. These paintings are meditations on living. Nothing empty about that.”
Hall has made annual visits to Italy for nearly two decades, specifically focusing on the work of Giotti di Bondone found at the Basilica of San Francesco in Assisi and the Arena Chapel in Padua. The exhibition presents one of Hall’s first sculptural works; a solid white floor which replicates that of the Arena Chapel’s entrance. Pavimento di Padua, Capella Scrovegni is made of interlocking diamonds, each hand-cut from Baltic birch and prepared with the same chalk ground as the paintings.
Hall states, “My source, the fundamental well, is Giotto’s Arena Chapel. Inside of this space his frescoes chronicle the life of the Virgin. The ceiling is covered in stars, a simple repeating pattern on a veil of blue that is transcendental. And the pavement (black and white), the place where you stand to look towards the heavens is covered in a pattern of interlocking diamonds. All of the patterns in my paintings derive from these two opposing spaces – and these opposing spaces represent so many things in my practice and my life. The spaces have always been so separate in my mind, the above, a place of pure love (the pattern taken from the cloak of the Madonna) and the below, a place of earth-bound love (the black paintings). I’m beginning to feel the two spaces merge – that what is myth, so far away in the heavens, the stars, can manifest here, right in your presence.”
About Alison Hall
Born in Martinsville, Virginia, Hall received her Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art from Hollins University, Roanoke, VA, and her Master of Fine Arts in Painting and Drawing from American University, Washington, DC (2004). She has exhibited at Galerie Gisela Clement, Bonn, Germany; TOTAH, New York, NY; Kate Werble Gallery, New York, NY; The William Louis-Dreyfus Foundation in conjunction with Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects, New York, NY; Philip Slein Gallery, St Louis, MO; Schloss Derneburg, The Hall Art Foundation, Holle, Germany; the Taubman Museum of Art, Roanoke, VA, Claiborne Robertson Board Room at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA; The Allentown Museum of Art, Allentown, Pennsylvania. She is the recipient of the Bethesda Urban Partnership Fellowship (2011) and a Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Professional Fellowship (2011). She lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.