In the Midwest it’s the season for burning. In the parks, the prairies are burned to help manage weeds, restore nutrients, and lead to more more desirable plant growth. I was participating in a restoration workday, hauling brush and playing with fire. Maybe that’s why I found Theodora Allen’s soft, muted artwork today.
Wildfire, No. 4, 2016
Allen applies thin layers of oil paint, slowly building up the painting. She then uses a soft cloth to systematically remove the paint. What is left is the pigment that has been able to soak into the linen. The shadow of a painting, remaining, much as the memory of the blooming prairie hovers in the consciousness as the field is burning.
Wildfire, No. 1, 2014
“It’s a process that retains the traces of every decision – the material has a memory. It’s why the images in the paintings appear to be both forming and disappearing” -from an interview with Allen in ArtNews.
Calendar, No. 2
Allen was featured this past winter at Strange Attractions, The Anthology of Interplanetary Folk Art Vol. 1 Life on Earth, a group show organized by Bob Nickas in Los Angeles,CA. This month (April 2018) through May 2018 she is featured in Galleri Nicolai Wallner, in Denmark.
View her website: http://www.theodoraallen.com/