P·P·O·W is pleased to announce SOMETIMES A TRAVELLER, our sixth show of works by Dotty Attie. In her previous work, Attie repainted details from many art historical sources, including Caravaggio, Ingres, Courbet and Eakins. More recently she has been culling images from documentary and art photography. She re-presents these images on meticulously painted square canvases, interspersed with panels of text.
In this exhibition, consisting of a series of 5 large works on different themes, while using the same text for each, Attie explores how context affects the meaning of language. Painted on assemblages of canvases 6 X 6 and 3 X 4 inches, each major group subjects the viewer to a genre of images from history's vast photographic record. These include battlefields, professional and amateur sporting events, noirish deployments of law and order, ordinary domestic scenes, and exotic nineteenth century colonial and travel expeditions. The scenarios depict people often engaged with what is happening outside the picture frame. Characters look out, casting their gaze in every direction and often pointing directly at the viewer. The viewer becomes complicit in the artist's project, bringing his or her own interpretations to their understanding of the narrative action.
As viewers of Attie's paintings, our perception becomes part of the narrative even as we are seduced by the medium. Attie paints details from the source photographs in a delicate grisaille. This technique simulates the photographic originals, creating tension between that delicacy and the violence she often portrays.
Dotty Attie has been exhibiting since 1972, and her work has been seen in numerous museums and galleries worldwide.