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giovedì 19 novembre 2015

“The Innocents”, a gleam in history

Written by Giuseppina Biondo
Translated by Maria Basso


Through fast changes of direction and a continious going up and down in the deep and rapid underground of London, you can reach the Menier Gallery in Southwark Street joined by a relentess curiosity to see the works exposed in Laurel Holloman last show. Ongoing until 21st November. 
“The Innocents”, twenty-four portraits of women and children, whom are among the artist’s loved ones, opens a new journey began by the american painter, so far known and awarded for her abstract expressionism.



Here it takes place a change in the change.  Fell into full figurative, the portraits show an evolution inside the collection itself: the result of the character changes as Laurel Holloman produces new canvases, eyes change and expressions increase. This is the case, for example, of the technical-representative journey which goes from “The Lioness”, and “The Ingenue” to “Mona Lisa Smile”  or again “Another Rose in The Garden”. A variety inside one show that makes us think about an early originality of vision and a playfull approach, followed by study and growth, a research more and more close to a realistic reproduction. It must be underlined that the artist works follow two steps, the first is the photographic portrait, personally executed, the second is the replication on canvas. 
Constant, instead, is the intensity of the emotions shared. Unforgettable is the stare in “Invincible” and utterly sweet the one in “Sandra’s Eyes”, or again the magic expressions of “About a Boy” and “The Sunset”, in which the children’s eyes show all the foresight of observing the charm of the world and nature. 


At the 17th November’s inauguration there was also Tracy Middendorf, one among the models protagonists in Laurel Holloman portraits, as well as american actress with a large filmography. 
In an Europe shaken by the recent foreign politicy events , a show about innocence leads us to reflect, to the need of pursuiting clarity and authenticity, simplicity and emotions.

It appears almost necessary to focus on “The Undecided”, portrait about the innocence of introspection, an inner disarmament. Curved on herself, the woman portrayed recalls a woman who whitdraws on herself: an innocent and pure pursuit during something you would call a dark time, made of doubts and uncertainty. The position of the body and the background show a protagonist holding something dark to reflect about. Dark is also the room in which is the woman, but the white of the blankets contrasts and lightens up the picture as if the reflection can lighten up the mind. Maybe the thought that arises during dark periods, that contracts our soul and body is exactly the purest thought, that brightens us up inside leading us to the right visions? At last, could it be the artist’s portrait or the one of this historical period? If so, after reflections and indecisions, follows most of the time a firm and brave action, in the best of cases an inspired and innocent action.