Shared themes of nostalgia and yearning for a paradise lost bridged the contemporary and historical works featured in Dylan Glynn: After Order, After Disorder. Curated by Georgia Erger, the spring exhibition in the Hamon Arts Library’s Hawn Gallery showcased paintings, works on paper, digital prints and animated shorts by artist Dylan Glynn alongside 19th century photographs from DeGolyer Library’s special collections.
“Glynn, whose practice is rooted in formal life drawing, has developed an ethereal style that captures a fantastical naiveté,” says Erger. “Expansive landscapes are sparsely populated by serene, yet impassioned figures struggling to assert their selfhood. Boundaries between bodies and nature are blurred – the rib cage of a figure seamlessly mirrors the veins of a leaf. Lyrical movement, as well as the deft manipulation and layering of color, characterized the diverse array of works on view.”
Past and present blended harmoniously as his work mingled with photographs from the DeGolyer. “The swirling forms, flowers and greenery of Glynn’s Utopia are reminiscent of the lush, perhaps tropical, landscape depicted in the 1898 colored photochrome,” explains Erger. “While the 1860-70s stereographs demonstrate a fascination with dimension and movement beautifully paralleled in the crumpling, decaying plants and thrashing water of Glynn’s animated short, Sister Narcissa.” The first-of-its-kind exhibit at Hawn Gallery also featured three large-scale paintings produced by the Torontobased Glynn during his two-week artist residency at Meadows School of the Arts.
In an interview with Erger posted on the Hamon blog, he described the experience: “The residency was such a joy. Although it was also not without its challenges, in terms of the work I was producing! A fellow artist and illustrator, Emily Hughes, had noted that my drawings possessed a strong command of the human figure and suggested that they would translate well into a larger scale. In light of this advice, I set out to create these new larger paintings with an emphasis on movement and gesture. My first painting, Pomelo represented the greatest learning curve, and as such, is the most closely related to my existing work. It is the most carefully drawn and rendered of the three large-scale paintings. But as I progressed, I loosened up. My final painting, In Meadows features loose, confident brushstrokes and is much more improvisational in its composition. I am happy with all three paintings, but I most enjoyed creating Dreaming of Flight and In Meadows, as they more closely reflect the kind of work I’m striving to create right now.”
While at SMU, Glynn also spoke to students in Arthur Peña’s intermediate painting class about his wide-ranging practice and career trajectory.
Seven of the artist’s short films from the exhibit, which closed on March 12, are now on view on the second floor of Hamon Arts Library.
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