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Alison Byrnes
updated: 10/31/2011
website: www.alisonbyrnes.com
 
   
 
 
     
 
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Scientific Theories Once Widely Believed, Since Proven Wrong: Phrenology
Scientific Theories Once Widely Believed, Since Proven Wrong: The Planet Vulcan
Scientific Theories Once Widely Believed, Since Proven Wrong: Black Bile
Scientific Theories Once Widely Believed, Since Proven Wrong: Alchemy
Mors Voluntaria: Sigmund Freud
Mors Voluntaria: Sylvia Plath
Mors Voluntaria: Seneca, Lucan, and Petronius
Mors Voluntaria: Virginia Woolf
Mors Voluntaria: Sid Vicious
Mors Voluntaria: Ernest Hemingway
John Wayne Accepting his Academy Award from Barbra Streisand
John Wayne at Home with One of his Four Dachshunds
Parallels in Indian and American History: Assassins (John Wilkes Booth and Nathuram Godse)
Regicides (1 of 2)
Regicides (2 of 2)
 
Portfolio Keywords:  science, humor, political, social criticism, violence, historical, figurative, narrative
 
 
Scientific Theories Once Widely Believed, Since Proven Wrong: Phrenology by Alison Byrnes
Scientific Theories Once Widely Believed, Since Proven Wrong: Phrenology
egg tempera on paper
August 2011
9 " x  12 " 
Scientific Theories Once Widely Believed, Since Proven Wrong: The Planet Vulcan by Alison Byrnes
Scientific Theories Once Widely Believed, Since Proven Wrong: The Planet Vulcan
egg tempera on paper
A
12" x  9" 
Scientific Theories Once Widely Believed, Since Proven Wrong: Black Bile by Alison Byrnes
Scientific Theories Once Widely Believed, Since Proven Wrong: Black Bile
egg tempera on paper
August 2011
12" x  9" 
Scientific Theories Once Widely Believed, Since Proven Wrong: Alchemy by Alison Byrnes
Scientific Theories Once Widely Believed, Since Proven Wrong: Alchemy
egg tempera on paper
August 2011
12" x  9" 
Mors Voluntaria: Sigmund Freud by Alison Byrnes
Mors Voluntaria: Sigmund Freud
egg tempera on paper
2008
12 " x  9 " 
Mors Voluntaria: Sylvia Plath by Alison Byrnes
Mors Voluntaria: Sylvia Plath
egg tempera on paper
2008
12 " x  9 " 
Mors Voluntaria: Seneca, Lucan, and Petronius by Alison Byrnes
Mors Voluntaria: Seneca, Lucan, and Petronius
egg tempera on paper
2008
12 " x  9 " 
Mors Voluntaria: Virginia Woolf by Alison Byrnes
Mors Voluntaria: Virginia Woolf
egg tempera on paper
2008
12 " x  9 " 
Mors Voluntaria: Sid Vicious by Alison Byrnes
Mors Voluntaria: Sid Vicious
egg tempera on paper
2008
12 " x  9 " 
Mors Voluntaria: Ernest Hemingway by Alison Byrnes
Mors Voluntaria: Ernest Hemingway
egg tempera on paper
2008
12 " x  9 " 
John Wayne Accepting his Academy Award from Barbra Streisand by Alison Byrnes
John Wayne Accepting his Academy Award from Barbra Streisand
oil on silk
December, 2009
5.5" x  6.5" 
John Wayne at Home with One of his Four Dachshunds by Alison Byrnes
John Wayne at Home with One of his Four Dachshunds
oil on silk
November 2009
7.5" x  8.5" 
Parallels in Indian and American History: Assassins (John Wilkes Booth and Nathuram Godse) by Alison Byrnes
Parallels in Indian and American History: Assassins (John Wilkes Booth and Nathuram Godse)
oil on silk
February 2010
7" x  6.5" 
Regicides (1 of 2) by Alison Byrnes
Regicides (1 of 2)
gouache on paper
2008
12" x  9" 
Regicides (2 of 2) by Alison Byrnes
Regicides (2 of 2)
gouache on paper
2008
12" x  9" 

Artist Statement

Artist’s Statement

Alison Byrnes

 

I make funny paintings about history:  that is the simple way of putting it.  Within that statement, three key words deserve much elaboration – “funny,” “paintings,” and “history;” and the word “I” cannot help but be present throughout.  Working within and expanding upon the canon of history painting, I am interested in portraying the problem of historiography itself.  History is an artificial construction that reflects actual events but can never fully convey its multiplicity and complexity. 

I started off with the question, “Why can’t I make up history too, just as do writers and historians?” I wanted to bring my conceptions of the people about whom I was reading into alignment with images of them.  I had to create these images. 

I began painting eminent historical figures in mid-century modern settings as a comment on how the mind arbitrarily constructs images of history.   Seeking to call attention to the inherently authored qualities of historical accounts, I use a painting style that proclaims its subjectivity.

I use painting as an investigation into the problem of translating text into a visual representation.  By working directly from historical texts I have discovered that I am left to fill in many of the details, as were artists throughout time, thus leaving space for my personal interpretation and consciously constructed anachronism.  The very act of painting then becomes an exercise in historiography:  writers of history must perform a certain amount of “filling in” as well. 

Artist Bio / CV

Alison Byrnes

Bangalore, India

 

alisonbbyrnes@gmail.com

alisonbyrnes.com

 

Education

2007   M.F.A., Art & Design, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor               Certificate, Museum Studies, University of MI

2003   B.S., Art, University of Wisconsin at Madison

2000   B.A., Classics, University of WI at Madison

 

Experience

present  Faculty, Srishti School of Art, Design & Technology, Bangalore, India

2009    Lecturer, The University of MI

           Visitor Specialist, American Museum of Magic, MI

           Preparator, Vertebrate Paleontology Lab, Ann Arbor, MI

2008   Visiting Artist, Millsaps College, Jackson, MS

2007-08  Graduate Intern, The Getty Museum Exhibition Design Dept., Los Angeles, CA                       

2004-07  Graduate Student Instructor, University of MI

2005-06  Exhibition Assistant, Museum of Natural History, Ann Arbor               

2006     Intern, Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York, NY                            Screening Committee Member, Ann Arbor Film Festival                     

Solo Exhibitions

2009    Tinlark Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

2008      Jackson MS

2007      Tinlark Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

Ann Arbor, MI

Madison, WI

 

Group Exhibitions

2010 Mumbai, India

2009 Bloomington, IN

2008  Ventura, CA

          New York, NY

          San Juan, Puerto Rico

2007  Gallery Project, Ann Arbor, MI

2006  Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit, Detroit, MI

          Silas Marder Gallery, Bridgehampton, NY

          Fanny Garver Gallery, Madison, WI

          University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia

2005  ebay-a-day, juried online exhibition

          Warren Robbins Gallery, Ann Arbor, MI

          Instituut voor de Opleiding van Leraren, Paramaribo, Surinam, South America

          Los Angeles, CA

2004  Wallspace Gallery, New York, NY

          Art-O-Mat, art vending machine

          Redlands, CA      

2003  7th Floor Gallery, Madison, WI

          Red Gym Gallery, Madison, WI

2002  Gallery 734, Madison, WI

Awards

2007      Fellowship, Institute for the Humanities, University of MI                         

              Getty Graduate Internship, Los Angeles, CA            

2006     Dybvig/Redstone Award, University of MI School of Art            

2002      Honorable Mention, Student Art Show, Madison, WI

 

Publications

2007  The Los Angeles Times, Dec. 6

           “The Oxford American,” Dec.         

            “New American Paintings,” Vol. 71

2006  “Empty Pockets,” Vol. 2,

2004  “New American Paintings,” Vol. 53