25.1 – 4.3 2023
Delphine Hennelly:Through Perseus’ Shield
25.01 – 04.03.2023
Huxley-Parlour are delighted to present Through Perseus’ Shield – Delphine Hennelly’s first solo exhibition in the UK – at their Maddox Street gallery. In seven large-scale canvases, Hennelly renders monumental figures in a prismatic palette and heavily wrought, impasto brushstrokes. The exhibition reappropriates the art-historical motif of the mirror as a symbol of self-assured, modern womanhood.
Mining existent cultural and historical imagery, Hennelly’s practice is characterised by her use of repetition. Each canvas is realised in its own seductive colour palette, yet at the centre of each composition lies the same motif, woman with mirror, which Hennelly uses as a conceptual and formal structure from which to play out variables. Hennelly uses repetition in this way as a kind of artistic echolalia, with each canvas informing the next in a cyclical, self-referential loop, influenced by the writings of Gilles Deleuze.
The title of the exhibition, Through Perseus’ Shield, is the title of the first painting in the suite of seven: a kaleidoscopic reworking of a 1485 painting by Hans Memling entitled ‘Earthly Vanity and Divine Salvation’. The painting crucially reveals the art-historical inception of the project, as Hennelly takes the personification of sinful vanity – a young woman regarding her own reflection – as her point of departure. Hennelly reconfigures and reimagines this objectified female form in order to, as she states, ‘emancipate’ it.
Delphine Hennelly’s work addresses the human condition and prescribed gender roles through her use of pattern, repetition, and uncanny colour palettes. Her work is particularly inspired by tapestries, art history, and early Modernism which she references through motifs, compositional structures and gestures. Hennelly works in series, exploring the same motif as an act of repetition, influenced by the writing of Giles Deleuze and the notion of continuous time and the conflation of the past and the future with the present.
Delphine Hennelly (b. 1979) received her BFA from Cooper Union in 2002 and her MFA from Mason Gross School of the Visual Arts at Rutgers University in 2017. She is the recipient of the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Award and her work has been exhibited in the United States, Europe and Canada. Her work has appeared in numerous publications including ArtMaze Magazine, Nut Publication, and New American Paintings. In 2022, Hennelly was a resident artist of Palazzo Monti (Brescia). She lives and works in Montréal.