OPENING RECEPTION: Friday, September 6, 5-9pm
Margo Allman, a distinguished regional artist for over 60 years in painting, drawing, and sculpture, doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. In her first solo exhibition at The Delaware Contemporary, Allman searches for meaning from the vantage point of a seat on a New York City subway. Unlike the experience of a Denzel Washington thriller, Allman found her own “thrill” during frequent subway treks in the city that never sleeps. Embodying the belief that even the mundane elements of everyday life serve as stimulus for the imagination, Allman’s innate tunnel vision explores the heads of other commuters in transit.
Primal Images: Journey from a Subway Seat presents 15 small and large-scale monochromatic acrylic paintings on paper and Tyvek, the virtually indestructible high-density polyethylene fiber sheets made by DuPont. “Not paper. Not fabric.” This exhibition examines Allman’s evolution as an artist. The head series diverges from the emotionally restrained geometrics of her emblematic egg-shape series to reveal ambitious, metaphysical paintings dating back to the 1980s. While her embryonic “ovoids” persist in subtle form, Allman sees her head series primordially as “heroic-sized visages or universal archetypes, both primitive and androgynous.”
Colossal in scale, the paintings transcend abstract expressionist labels, revealing Allman’s fascination with movement. Amorphous contours and the poetry of her calligraphic lines dance across the composition, allowing for spontaneity while remaining resolute in experimentation. Untamed rivers of acrylic paint pool together in harmonic layers of emerging form that sprout like fiddlehead ferns, while the objects collide into complete abstraction. Taking cue from the subway seat, Allman has captured the world around her and documented a connection between time and space. Seeing her paintings, viewers are captivated not only by the curvilinear forms, but in ruminating their own passage of time, aging, loss, impermanence, identity, or aspirations in relation to the visible world.