For her exhibition entitled Devotions at the Herringer-Kiss Gallery, Renée Duval presents a recent series of large paintings. For many years Renée has used the image of the tree in her paintings as a way to explore ideas about a sense of presence and the natural world. Since 2011 Duval has created paintings of symmetrical trees that she paints from photo-collages. The resulting works are somewhat hallucinatory – both resolutely realistic as well as supernatural.
In her most recent work, this symmetrical plant life has been formed into a series of large heads that are both explicit and implied. These “portraits” are iconic in their presentation and totemic in their symmetry. Duval’s paintings have long been characterized by a fidelity to the alchemy of representational painting as well as a passionate engagement to the language of painting. As a painter, she is strongly influenced by both western and non-western art history.
The paintings that are part of the exhibition Devotions occupy a space between two opposing perceptions that emphasize the mutability of perception and allow a reconciliation between the banal and the miraculous.