The sour yellow color used in this textured piece was inspired by the aesthetics of the 60s and 70s.
The intimate scale of the objects, modeled on the structure of room dividers underlines the idiosyncratic and impractical nature of these items. The paintings they’re composed of are made of silk, hand-embroidered, painted and printed.
“I was interested in making this piece a very faint minimalist rendition of that pattern of color. It was important to me to make the colors so similar in tone that if one were color blind or if one were seeing it in black-and-white it might seem to be all one color. I love the feeling of these very subtle color shifts.”
The realm of Rawlings’ visual pursuits is in large part focused on the subject of girlhood or womanhood. She often creates her paintings, particularly portraits, from found images collected and kept from magazines and newspapers.
Rawlings’ paintings are often based on material found in magazines or newspapers—she’s especially interested in images that feel painterly. This painting was inspired by a picture of a young man playing the arcade game called Dance Dance Revolution, captioned as a game that Adam Lanza was playing shortly before the Sandy Hook shooting. The artist worked with the image in Photoshop and created a pixelated version of it, similar to her rainbow pixel series.
Joint exhibition of Rafał Bujnowski and Michelle Rawlings is organized by Raster in Tokyo’s Shibuya Hikarie
Rawlings seeks in her work a new, contemporary female identity: creative, subjective, intuitive, and perfectly at home in the digital world. Her intimate painting combines visual brilliance and multiplicity with reticent contemplation.
The main element of her “Girl Talk” exhibition is an installation prepared from a range of objects of varying sizes modeled on the structure of room dividers. The paintings accompanying these sculptural pieces are made of silk, hand-embroidered, painted and printed, in the spirit of a diary of images. The exhibition is completed with characteristic, small easel paintings by Rawlings, a continuation of her intimate color studies.
Relatively small in size, Michelle Rawlings’ paintings come together as a sequence of images, much like a blog or instagram feed. Rawlings references various styles and genres of painting, adapting them to her individual scale and narrative. The realm of her visual pursuits is in large part focused on representations of young women and girls – artists, actors and models – as well as the formal language of contemporary art.
1980 born in Dallas (TX), USA
2012 receives degree in painting from the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence (RI)
2015 lectures on Art at Southern Methodist University in Dallas
Lives and works in Dallas.
Michelle Rawlings’ intimate painting combines visual brillance and multiplicity with reticent contemplation. The artist combines in her works different styles and manners of painting, with themes ranging from pixelated, abstract compositions and coloristically refined monochromes to the iconography of girlish Instagram shots. They are mostly created through a time-consuming, painstaking process modeled on traditional studio painting. Their intimate scale and the way their themes are chosen keeps pace with the contemporary speed of the Internet and social media. The two interpenetrate: a sense of the singularity and classic nobility of modern art and a fascination with the non-hierarchical, spontaneous and fetishistic consumption of culture peculiar to teenage girls. By stripping the former of its sublimity and imparting gravity to the latter, Rawlings seeks in her work a new, contemporary female identity: creative, subjective, intuitive, and perfectly at home in the digital world.
- Protest Songs, Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago, US
- And Now, Dallas, US
- Raster, Warsaw, PL (upcoming)
- Permanent.Collection, Austin, US (with Matt Morris)
- A Gentle Creature, Raster Gallery, Warsaw, PL
- Impressionist Paintings, Hello Project Gallery, Houston, US
- Feature: Michelle Rawlings, Goss-Michael Foundation, Dallas, US
- Empathicalism at Oliver Francis Gallery, Dallas, US
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
- And Now, Dallas, US
- Subject: Disability, UTA Gallery, Arlington, US
- Summer Party, Hello Project Gallery, Houston, US
- Dreamstone Presents, SunScreening Vol.1, New York, US
- A Pack of Camels, a Zippo and a Bottle of Jack, Galleri Rostrum, Malmö, SE
- 48 TIMER FESTIVAL on NØRREBRO, KoncertKirken, Copenhagen, DK
- Forgive Me I Love You, Projekt 722, New York, US
- Dallas Biennial 2014, Dallas, US
- Acceleration, The Dallas Contemporary, Dallas, US
- Group Show, The Brandon Gallery, Houston, US
- Pleased to Meet Me, Talley Dunn Gallery, Dallas, US
- Ft. Worth Drawing Center booth at Fallas Dart Air, Dallas, US
- 25 Artists, Suite 217, New York, US
- 9 Artists, Blow-Up Gallery, Dallas, US
- Susan/Elizabeth, The Goss-Michael Foundation, Dallas, US
- Contemporary Drawing Today, Ft. Worth Drawing Center, US
- SNAFU, Oliver Francis Gallery, Dallas, US
- The Gallery as Host, University of Texas at Dallas, Dallas, US
- Dallas Biennial, Volume 2, US
- Dallas Biennial 2012, Volume 1C— Film Screening, Texas Theater, US
- RISD MFA Painting 2012, 532 Gallery, New York, US
- Present/Future, Concord Art Association, Concord, US
- RISD Graduate Thesis Exhibition 2012, Providence, US
- NOW! THAT’S WHAT I CALL ART: VOL 1, Oliver Francis Gallery, Dallas, US
- Michael Granberry, Art Notes: Dallas Biennial is all about the artists, “Dallas Morning News Arts & Features”, 31.01.2014 (EN)
- Michael Granberry, Art Notes: Contemporary high jinks to mark 35 years, “Dallas Morning News Arts & Features”, 3.11.2013 (EN)
- Stephen Becker, A Dallas Gallery, Not Where Youʼd Expect, “KERA Radio Broadcast”, 20.01.2012 (EN)