Eleanor Aldrich


My work is a simulation of my everyday sensory experiences, and a struggle to achieve a level of realism that goes beyond rendering. Often, this means building up forms or creating textures on the picture plane. I am fascinated by the possibility of actuality in painting; when a picture begins to oscillate between a representation and a physical manifestation. I attribute my need for mystery and the possibility of transformation in my work to my Catholic upbringing, in which materials were transformed and images held power over life.

I find it useful to talk about my work in terms of poetry, in the way that poetry relies on the look, sound, and cadence of its words to get at something more than can be said outright. The thick paint, construction fillers, metallic spray paint, and found objects in these paintings perform a similar role. The viewer is made aware of the language of painting when representation is paired with textural materials that utilize the light and shadow of the space they are in, or when a technique is used to describe more than one object. There is a frankness in the physical materials that builds a condition of belief against the suspension of belief that is needed to engage with illusion. In the space between these conflicting positions—which is sometimes a resolved space—I find the great possibility of a recognition that is deeper than language.



Eleanor Aldrich, Monastery, 2011, mixed media on canvas, 48" x 60"CV

b. Springerville, Arizona

2014 participant in the Drawing Center’s Open Sessions

2012 participant at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Maine

2012 MFA in Painting/Drawing from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville

2007 BFA in Painting through the Academie Minerva (Groningen, the Netherlands) and Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff

Solo shows at the Find and Form Gallery, Boston, Beaver Street Gallery in Flagstaff, AZ and Fluorescent Gallery, Knoxville, TN

Work included in ‘Staring at the Sun,’ Saltworks Gallery, Atlanta, GA: ‘ACTION + OBJECT + EXCHANGE’, Open Sessions Exhibition, the Drawing Center, New York, NY: ‘FEED 2013,’ 1708 Gallery, Richmond, VA: and the Audubon Artists National in New York.

Select publications include the 100th edition of New American Paintings and Artforum.com’s Critics Picks.

Select merit awards include an Endowment for the Arts through the Whiteman Foundation, and the Herman E. Spivey Fellowship.



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