Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Exhibit: Dorian Allworthy

I was somewhat blown away
by this unexpected
exhibit last weekend.

Who is Dorian Allworthy ?

Apparently,she lives a few blocks away,
but I've never seen her paintings
in any of our shows.

(and most of them would have
won at least my vote for a gold medal)

Unlike the other professional artists
in the Palette and Chisel,
she's not out there hustling
by constantly promoting herself
with gallery shows and teaching classes.

Like Manet and Cezanne,
she appears to be a serious artist
of independent means.

(her last big show seems to have been
at the Marshall Museum in Mt. Vernon,
back in 2003)

But, as it turns out,
I have heard about her before.

Dominic Vignola ,
(who would still be painting at the P&C
if he could climb all those stairs to the third floor)
first studied art with her father, Joseph Allworthy,
whom Dominic discovered many years ago
through a listing as "Artist" in the Yellow Pages.

(that was, of course, many decades before the internet)

As Dominic tells it,
Allworthy practiced
"tonal impressionism"
that emphasizes mass over line and color,
and his daughter, Dorian,
has continued in that direction.

These are

They can dominate a hallway or room,
just like a tapestry
(and it doesn't hurt
that a tapestry is painted in the background)

And they're so decorative.

While the figure always seems to be a model posing.

Here's a popular model from the club.
(who always works the door at the drawing marathons)

Looking something like the Sphinx.

A delicious close-up,
showing how
geometrically she works.

A wonderful goat.
Dorian really finds
the strong, simple shapes.

(But who, besides the Palette and Chisel,
would hang a goat over the fireplace ?)

and I love this big,
ridiculous nude,
and would love to visit this chateaux
where the entertainers
don't wear pants.

Here's a few more.
They're sexy in such a casual way.

Why don't I ever get invited to these parties?

While every chateaux
must have it's domestic workers.....

.. and it's peasants.

(and I'm glad they keep their clothes on)

The exhibit was accompanied
by these handwritten
fragments of text.

(this one was next to the standing couple)

Is it really true that
"any attempt to teach art is futile" ?

The remarkable characteristics of Dorian's art
is hardly the result
of her being self taught.


Blogger dorian allworthy said...

Hello, And Thank you - What a beautifully playful review of my show!I wonder if you had a chance to look at my prints, in the Salander boxes by the window ? and my garish fragment series? For a time I was coming quite regularly to draw at the P&C - I brought large sheets of Dyed Blue paper and drew with charcoal and white chalk - some people were irritated with me because I made horrible squeaking noises with my pencil and I think I might have made grunting noises as well - perhaps they dont remember - anymore - Some of the drawings were OK - I will be back !

February 03, 2010  
Blogger chris miller said...

Your grunts, squeaks, and blue paper are always welcome at my drawing workshops, Dorian. (Monday nights, 6:30, 25 minute poses) -- and of course at my drawing marathons (the next one is Memorial Day)

February 04, 2010  
Anonymous marly youmans said...

Okay, dazzling and diverting is related to the killdeer pretending to have a broken wing, and simplicity and showing is related to the nest of eggs.


“Infect them with the condition of my soul.”

Again, interesting.

I wonder if she means all this entirely literally. I mean, of course nothing that matters at the deepest levels can be taught, though plenty of technique can be taught.

Thought: I never understood any good advice at the time but only when I had discovered it for myself. Perhaps I might not have discovered it in the same way had I not heard it, though. Bad advice was eventually helpful: that is, one gets to overthrow it.

I’m not sure any of what I just said is true.

Hah, hah! I love what she says about squeaking—and then grunting!

I think my favorites are the ones of people working. Hasn’t that become rather rare, the image of people working? I am taken with the women sewing, so alert and self-contained, pausing for a moment in their making. The ironing lady with all the marvelous stripes and the transparent blouse is making more of a full stop, and who can blame her? I wonder if she’s going to leave a brown mark on that white?

She has certainly captured the overweight age we live in. I somehow love the big masses of color in the fat-man-in-overalls-in-a-landscape, and the way he stands on poor little feet! The skin of his arms . . . it looks chill and blotchy from here, a fat man's fat-chill arms.

I like the quietly sumptuous Asian curtain-silver-silks-quilted-and-unquilted. A study in masses and glitterance.

As usual, I love your funny comments, particularly about the comical nudes. But Chris, you’re doing the horrible “it’s” thing! Otherwise, perfect.

Just popped over to her website . . . And had to look at trees. I love the “Linden Tree.” And there are lots of drypoint engravings.

By, Chris--

February 23, 2010  

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