A few foors away at Davis Dominguez Gallery, painter Jenny Day has a major exhibition of large-scale paintings and small collages. An MFA graduate of the UA, Day has been rising rapidly in the art world on the strength of her fractured landscape paintings.
I first saw Day's work at a show at the Tucson Botanical Gardens six years ago, and called it an "exhilarating solo show of energetic paintings by an ambitious young painter." That's still true.
Her new acrylic and mixed media paintings are filled with discordant objects. In "Bifurcated Translation," a powder blue pick-up is atop a swimming pool in what looks like a wintry landscape. A golden arch that seems half McDonald's, half church architecture, presides over a junk yard overflowing with chopped-up computer screens and record albums in "Miscalibration: Sacred Profane."
But these pieces are more kaleidoscopic than these descriptions make them sound. The elements are topsy-turvy, cut-off, stretched out, floating here and there, like images in a dream, or a nightmare. As the exhibition's notes suggest, these are broken, cubist-inspired landscapes.
The colors are intoxicating: fuchsia red atop the truck's pale blue, brilliant green leaves against white. And in a strange homage to an upside-down white horse (the painting "Startup Prometheus, horse horse unicorn"), hot pink flowers lie against blood red.
An array of small collages clues us in a bit to the artist's process. They're made of cut paper, with found images clipped from magazines or advertisements, perhaps, alongside drawings and painting scraps of her own. Day takes these fragments and assembles them into compositions that may defy physics and logic, but hold the power to excavate memory and dreams.
Written by Margaret Regan