Allison Gildersleeve : Within Earshot


Allison Gildersleeve : Within Earshot
May 23 – Jul 12, 2014

In her first Robischon Gallery exhibition, New York artist Allison Gildersleeve’s “Within Earshot” offers an energetic entry into realms which engage in a dialogue of landscape painting and abstraction. Elemental forms identifiable as tree, rock, water or sky are made highly complex as Gildersleeve’s wildly ranging brush employs deep viridian greens, cobalt blues and umbers against charged cadmium oranges and yellows. At its core, the artist’s work speaks to the possibilities of paint to re-engage the eye from the familiar into the unknown. In the largest painting entitled Tangle, for example, the thicket of neutral colored branches are trapped in a seemingly ceaseless mark-making of unpredictable color and elusive spatial definition. Each brush stroke is applied with purpose and improvisation; simultaneously building and obstructing the field of view.           

Artcritical writer Stephen Maine states, “While Gildersleeve’s touch is animated and her colors sumptuous, her compositions are abruptly cropped, hedged in by the edges of the canvas as if the viewer is wearing blinders. There is no suggestion of awe- inspiring, expansive space – “sublime” in the Romantic sense. But quite the opposite: a sort of tunnel vision that eliminates the periphery and induces a disquieting absence of context.  Gildersleeve’s manifest self-consciousness about her relationship to the modalities of landscape painting provides a welcome bit of friction to her enjoyable blend of chromatic audacity and tactile finesse.”

Gildersleeve positions herself and the viewer, often within a neighborhood’s natural environment - where the wooded acreage between houses, for example, offers a kind of psychological screen. In place, Gildersleeve’s brush is pulled by the presence and sensation of light, her imagination and the magnetism of abstraction. While nature’s complexities provide endless fascination and the spark for the artist’s work, it is the act of painting itself which ultimately becomes her timeless subject.

Allison Gildersleeve is originally from New England and currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. She received an MA from Bard College Milton Avery School of Art, New York, where she studied under artist Amy Sillman and a BFA from William and Mary College, in Virginia. Gildersleeve has been awarded a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in painting and the Elaine De Kooning Memorial Fellowship. She has held residencies which include Yaddo in Saratoga Springs, New York, Millay Colony for the Arts in New York and the Vermont Studio School and exhibited at the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art. Gildersleeve continues to be widely collected and exhibited across the US and internationally.