Maureen Paley is pleased to present a second solo exhibition of new work by Kaye Donachie.
A glade in a forest is populated by a group of carefree youths. Lounging on hammocks and hay bales their bucolic dress and hair belongs to another time. Their pose and languor seems to promote blissful optimism. They are aspirant, ‘beautiful people’ bathed in radiant sunlight. It is a utopian scene complicit with fervour for freedom and liberation. The subjects appear torn between a trance like ecstasy and a self-conscious awareness. Part vanity, part legacy.
Conjured from a variety of sources Donachie’s modest scale oil paintings are drawn from the visual biographies of diverse groups, cults, communes, counterculture revolutionaries and other nonconformists. Ritual and revolution sit side by side in a strange dreamlike group dynamic.
Donachie’s paintings are imbued with an atmospheric ambience. Lurid sunsets ripple across skinny dippers. A gang finds twilight seclusion in a sodium lit cave. Donachie’s use of light dramatises the narrative directing how we relate to the subjects. There is a brooding darker undercurrent that resides in her treatment. The pallor of skin seems to convey a strange psychological state. Frozen by a transient wonder or enthralled in a clandestine initiation everybody looks as if they are vacant. This state resides between a visionary epiphany and occultist possession. Shadows seem to lengthen as the landscape darkens. Aspiration, beauty and hope could easily dissolve into submission and despair. All that would appear sublime has the potential to degenerate.
Kaye Donachie has a forthcoming solo exhibition: Never Learn Not to Love at Artists Space, New York from 09th March – 01st May. In 2003 she was included in Prague Biennale 1, Peripheries Become the Center, Veletrzni Palac, Prague, Yes! I Am A Long Way From Home, Wolverhampton Art Gallery, The Nunnery, London, Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, Sunderland and K.I.A.D, Canterbury and Dirty Pictures, The Approach, London.