“Tanya Fletcher:Coming of Age” was on display at Ocean House Gallery & Frame in Cape Elizabeth for the month of January. A reception took place on January 29.
Fletcher’s current body of work consists of life sized figures rendered in oil with metal leaf backgrounds on Baltic birch. These multiple panel pieces are reductively painted. A monochromatic, even layer of oil color is applied and then selectively removed with a cloth. This results in a brush-free photographic-like realism. Also, the revealed grain of the wood suggests skin and/or contours of the body endowing the forms with a three-dimensional sculptural look. The illusion of depth& space is furthered by silhouetting the figures against a bright metal leaf background…a reverse chiaroscuro.
The artist’s theatrical use of size & composition imbues these paintings with a taut level of emotional intensity. Fletcher’s acutely observed realism & objective approach to her figures also communicates a blunt psychological honesty & drama. This visceral aesthetic, however, still maintains an ambiguity. The nude is isolated to a neutral ground. Curves, creases & bulk speak for themselves without distraction. Also, dividing the pieces into multi-panels enhances the objectivity of the figure.
Ocean House Gallery & Frame is located at 299 Ocean House Road. The gallery is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, visit http://www.oceanhousegallery.com/