Angela Dufresne took the classic 1945 Russian film by Sergei Eisenstein, Ivan the Terrible, as inspiration for the recent suite of work she created at Aurobora. The film’s brooding characters in costumes full of fur, women adorned in headdresses, heavy interior shots with parabolic arches and deep shadows are examples of Eisenstein’s ability to create powerful compositional form. This is where Dufresne finds a kindred connection.
Manipulating ghost images from counter proofing off an initial plate run, Dufresne created a series of complex monotype diptychs that simulate progressive frame-by-frame film stills. The results of her efforts are dramatic. Much like the artist’s paintings, these works on paper capture a loose, frenetic energy in her brush stroke which in turn adds an anxiety, a cinematic tension, that collectively underpins each composition.
Dufresne is able to tug the viewer between the dual sensation of strangeness and familiarity partly though her choice of palette—from acidic to tempered earth tones, to muted veils of transparent color— which helps underscore time shifts the way it might occur in film. As such, Angela Dufresne’s monotypes exist between concept and gesture (the same terrain film inhabits) but are released from the strict rules of narrative and reason, free to languish in the realm of imagination.
The Saatchi Collection, London, UK; Academy Arts & Letters, New York, NY; Harvard University, Schwartz Art Collection, Cambridge, MA