2014 Season I, 2014 Season II
A painting on Delphine Hennelly's mind lately is Picasso's Les Demoiselles D'Avignon. It is an image that acknowledges the limits of the frame obscuring the figure, foreground, background delineation while hard outlines and awkward points butt up against quick gestural curves stopping short of the completion of a figure. Struggling with her need to believe in the pictorial space in which her figures are placed while reserving a desire to invent and discover a multiplicity of unknown pictorial possibilities, Les Demoiselles D'Avignon is a good painted example of an image complete unto itself in as much as it embodies the crux of the issue of figurative pictorial space in abstract terms. When Delphine recalls this painting she pictures it in her mind's eye reproduced in an art book with weathered templates printed in a dated Technicolor hue having a color scheme a little too saturated, and it is from this interpretation that she takes her cue. Toying with the idea that by the very nature of it's existence a painted image will become dated she searches for a narrative that assuages her unease with this concept attempting the depiction of the figure or group of figures with bathers as her subject.
While embracing the idealism of formalism and acknowledging that a large part of her work is about historical relationships in painting, Delphine remains grounded in her approach to painting as a narrative that begs to be staged. In her paintings the human presence is a trope. The bather a template for the ubiquitous reclining figure. Signifiers of the passage of time are the empty or full wine glasses or plastic cups present throughout the paintings, both symbols of the luxury and ease elemental to pool side culture. The bather in the throes of spending time leisurely portrays a narrative that stands in juxtaposition to the visible side affect of time. An image depicting distilled motion, or the act of relaxing, contemplation and absorption of the suns rays. A mere acknowledgement of what it means to be alive? Or; Bathing; an aspect of our existence linked into our deepest instincts for survival.