Marie Van Elder

We all want to be noticed, but not necessarily for who we really are. Performance, pretense and posturing are universal, though sometimes tricky to pull off – after all, we might inadvertently reveal our true selves in the act. And if we peek under the mask, we might recognize our own desire for accolades and fear of discovery.

We have devoted many years to observing and recording human psychological interactions with irony and empathy. In this show, we present the presenters, from the performers on stage to the little man behind the curtain. In a style reminiscent of arcane museum dioramas, Dana’s paintings include edgy magicians and ventriloquists plying their trades, and a masked lineup preparing for inspection. Jane will include her recent series based on vintage yearbook photographs, in which the subjects put their best face forward to be documented for posterity; and high school wrestling team photos, where adolescent boys pose in uniform with an exaggerated, fierce masculinity that ever so slightly misses the mark.

Marie looks at familiar objects and their reassuring domesticity. Using the traditional still life painting genre, she “stages” the things she cares about, using their tactile presence, their vibrant simplicity, their ephemeral power, their feminine modesty, the way they embody the memory of times and people in her life, their “hidden” little messages and drama, their seemingly unimportance to explore shapes, make meaningful marks, establish color relationships, organize space, find metaphors.

For more information about Marie Van Elder, please visit her website.