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.
Artist Bio / CV
Eleanor Aldrich was born in Springerville, Arizona. A 2012 participant at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine, she also holds an MFA in painting (2012) from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where she currently resides. She earned her BFA in painting (2007) through the Academie Minerva (Groningen, the Netherlands) and Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff.
Eleanor has had solo shows at Fluorescent Gallery in Knoxville, and at the Beaver Street Gallery in Flagstaff, AZ. Her work has been shown at Saltworks Gallery (Atlanta, GA), the Drawing Center (New York, NY), 1708 Gallery (Richmond, VA) and was included in the Audubon Artists National in New York, NY. She has been awarded an Endowment for the Arts through the Whiteman Foundation, and the Herman E. Spivey Fellowship. Her work has been included in the 100th edition of New American Painting, and Artforum.com's Critic's Picks.