New York and Vienna-based artist Judith Eisler has a lush show of paintings with an unusual theme through February 6, 2016 at Gavlak Palm Beach on Worth Avenue.
“Gloria,” an exhibition of five oil-on-canvas works rendered in different monochromatic palettes, was inspired by a scene in the 1919 Cecil B. DeMille film “Male and Female,” and depicts the actress Gloria Swanson crouched in a jungle landscape.
Trapped on an island in the film and focused on something unseen in the moment Eisler selected, Swanson “imagines herself apart from her situation, in another fantastical space,” according to the gallery website.
The artist became interested in this particular scene, according to the gallery, because it captures Swanson in “an in-between space – physically rooted in her surroundings, but geographically dislocated and poised to flee, and mentally adrift in her own thoughts.”
Describing her approach on her own website, Eisler wrote: “Cinema is an illusion that we accept as an alternative reality. It is a device that can transform the spectator, shape our vision and identity, and is part of a shared culture. By pausing the narrative and isolating moments, I am attempting to understand what we are seeing: straight lines do not exist, form wavers and blurs, but still, something is seen that we denote as being ‘real’.”
“I am photographing paused images of staged realities as they appear in a cinematic narrative on a monitor,” she continued. “I then make paintings of the resulting perceptual phenomena. I am not interested in the linear narrative that exists in the film, nor the linear perspective. I am concerned with the narrative that develops within the frame of the painting.”
By creating replicas of the same image in the “Glora” exhibition, but applying a different monochrome palette to each one, the artist is examining “the nuance of the figure’s movement,” according to the Gavlak website, and the way in which the figure becomes an extension of the landscape.
Born in Newark, New Jersey, Judith Eisler currently divides her time between Vienna (Austria) and New York City. A teacher at the School of Visual Arts in New York in 2007, she has been professor of painting at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna since 2009, and her work has been included in notable solo and group exhibitions.
BASIC FACTS: “Judith Eisler: Gloria,” December 29, 2015 through February 6, 2016, at Gavlak Palm Beach, 249B Worth Avenue, Palm Beach, FL 33480. 1-561-833-0583; www.gavlakgallery.com.
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