Disarming Beauty: Amanda Clyne

Thursday, June 19, 2014 to Saturday, August 2, 2014
The Orillia Museum of Art & History is pleased to present Disarming Beauty, a selection of works by Toronto–based artist Amanda Clyne, and photographs from OMAH’s permanent collection.
This exhibition presents artistic approaches that respond to similar philosophical tensions, in spite of falling on either side of the twentieth century. Rooted in Western painting traditions, Amanda Clyne’s multi–media practice retains a belief that images call us to connect to them beyond their surfaces. Appropriating historical painting and contemporary couture photography, the artist produces portraits of portraits and isolates the extreme artifice used by both genres to construct desirability. Through processes of erasure that present artifice's absence and lavishly painted surfaces that eroticise its presence, Clyne proposes artifice as a pathway to an empathic awareness of both seeing and being seen.
In photographic portraiture from the Victorian Period (1837–1901), the strategic use of embellishment sits in tension with the influence of Realism and its call for unbiased descriptions of physical surfaces. Portraits of women from Orillia adopt decorative clothing, architecture and floral arrangements in allegedly unbiased accounts of the “real.” However, with evidence of manipulation through ink and paint re–touching, careful compositions and complex lighting, these photographs betray their own aims of objectivity while sharing thematic, formal and procedural strategies with Clyne’s contemporary interests. Perhaps the most striking difference is the degree to which each approach brings  self–consciousness to bear on their notions of the “real.”
Exhibition Runs June 19—August 2, 2014
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