Anastasia Pollard - Dressing the Girl

2 May 2008 – 31 May 2008

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Mumford Fine Art

London, United Kingdom

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Mumford Fine Art is pleased to present an exposition of new work by the Londonbased American painter Anastasia Pollard. Having acquired a solid foundation for traditional oil painting from five years' training at the Florence Academy of Art, Pollard's new paintings flaunt the learned technical capabilities infused with direct inspirations from painters of old. The works simultaneously display the painter's considered approach of the women sitters, highlighting their costumes as indicators of the roles played in this game of life and fiction. Combining everyday models and lindy hopping dancers, DRESSING THE GIRL presents painterly portrayals of women, donning the hats & frocks that define the characters they play in both life and fiction. In Paper Wings (after Fra Angelico) as depicted above, Pollard draws influence directly from the 15th Century artist. Yet, rather than portray the figures as iconographic characters within the Christian tradition, she clothes and surrounds the beings in the fabrics and fashions that define them in the 21st century. Viewers familiar with her painterly references might well identify the halos and wings in other recent works as direct references to the 13th Century Italian painter Cimabue, or otherwise Giotto (who came between Cimabue and Fra Angelico), but for Pollard the penultimate task is to fuse these influences with her subjects. Always one to embrace new influences, in Pollard's recent painting Ann (2007), she presents a current-day woman, the surface smooth and mood somber, directly recalling in technique Manet paintings of the latter 19th Century. This work is indeed distinct from her pieces inspired by Italian painters; with Ann, the artist fully melds the old with the new throughout the painting with painting style and mood, yet in the specifically Italian-influenced pieces, rough backgrounds contrast with smooth figures, not only presenting literal distinctions in surface and technique but also reflecting the background as a reminder of painting traditions gone by. The exhibition includes twelve oil paintings, varying in size from 25.4 x 20.3 cm (10 x 8 in.) to 50.7 x 30.8 cm, and several pencil drawing studies. All pieces are presented in hand-finished frames.

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