Series in progress.
Since 2018 Elizabeth Albright has been reinventing mythological and historical narratives in her oil paintings by “defacing” classic art. Elizabeth’s last solo show, “Noble Beasts,” explored the symbolic connections between historical figures and animals by transforming renaissance royalty into the animal that best represented them. Her next show, “The Children of Dionysus,” will focus on the more conceptual idea of how mythological themes relate to ideas in classic art.
For this show Elizabeth will be transforming the figures in Rococo paintings into animals associated with the Greek God Dionysus.
Why Rococo? Why Dionyus?
In Greek mythology Dionysus, worshipped as early as 1500 BCE, was the God of wine, fertility, ecstasy, and all those other things that go along with frivolity and excess. Dionysus’ sacred animals were the panther, leopard, tiger, bull, horse, goat, donkey, and serpent.
Rococo painting, which originated in early 18th century Paris, embraced similar concepts. The artists focused on pastoral or boudoir tableaus populated by carefree aristocrats, performers, and farm folk who drink, sing, and cavort. These characters live in a world of amorous encounters and lighthearted youthful revelry, all idyllically portrayed using pastels and soft lines.
Although the myth of Dionysus and the Rococo art movement are separated by centuries, conceptually they are very similar. So why not marry the two and create a new narrative? Why not imagine what it would be like if the Dionysus myth were told in 18th century AD rather than 17th century BCE? In France instead of Greece?
Since the beginning of time, humans have been telling the same stories over and over again. With “The Children of Dionysus” Elizabeth hopes to tell another old story in a new way.
Opening Reception for “The Children of Dionysus” in the ZaPow Gallery Taproom, August 9th, from 7-9pm. Free drinks, music, masquerade ball, prizes, parlor games, and cake (let them eat cake!). The show runs from August 9th-September 8th.
Zapow Gallery, 150 Coxe Ave, Suite 101, Asheville, NC 28801