Delphine Hennelly + Mickey Mackenna

Opening: Thursday, June 14, 2018, from 5h30 to 8h30 pm
Exhibition: June 14 to July 21, 2018
Installation views: Jean-Michael Seminaro  

In the duo exhibition Delphine Hennelly + Mickey Mackenna, each artist engages the line as a means of witnessing, processing and recording. The playfulness of Hennelly’s palette and the vitality of Mackenna’s dancer-like sculptures act as seductive entrapments, offering precarious moments of stillness in which we are constantly reminded of their eventual rupture.

In Mickey Mackenna’s sculptural practice, reduced, abstracted shapes converge in a play of lines where tensions between materials and the fragility of their construction serve as manifestations of selfhood. Our behaviour, our identity-consciousness, can after all be communicated through the collision of action and form. For Mackenna, this idea translates into an array of sculptural gestures (groom, press, bend, rip, bandage, scratch, hold...), drawn from her desire to make even the most visceral properties of a material both visible and palpable. The simple points of contact between materials like various types of wood, alabaster, shell or steel become amplified through a balance of line, weight and space, performing as surrogates of human experience.

Like Mackenna, the line in Delphine Hennelly’s painterly approach is used as a compositional tool, but also as
a means to break and destabilize the linear narrative. By replacing thread with icing-like brushstrokes, the artist recalls the tapestry, which frays, wears or tears over time. Her ability to transcend this decorative and ornamental language surpasses the visual spectacle to subvert the iconography of its singular contextual meaning, while retaining the power of the iconic image. With allusions to the lenticular or the pixelated, Hennelly’s paintings slowly reveal our collective desire to mask and unmask experiences of anxiety, which derive from the social and political events that shape our contemporary world. The overall effect is a sense of displacement mired in beauty.

Materials and lines serve as anchors for self-clarification in Mackenna’s work, while images and lines in Hennelly’s paintings tend to blur and break into a multiplicity of interpretations. Delphine Hennelly + Mickey Mackenna offers a space where both series, subjected to construction and arrangement, overlap and unfold layers of intrinsic tension.

Delphine Hennelly
(b. 1979, Vancouver) received her BFA from Cooper Union in 2002 and her MFA from Mason Gross School of the Visual Arts at Rutgers University in New Jersey in 2017. At Rutgers, Delphine was the Tepper Family Scholarship recipient and upon graduation received The John I. Bettenbender Memorial Performance Award. Delphine is also a three-time recipient of The Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Award. A painter and drawer and occasional printmaker she explores figuration primarily using the female form. Often tongue in cheek her subjectivity can be sarcastic and humorous. Deeply influenced by formalism her palette, playful and saccharine, subverts the gendered proclivity pastel colours perpetuate while her compositions obfuscate the possibility of a linear narrative. Delphine recently participated in a group show at Pt.2 Gallery in Oakland, California as well as a group show at Mother gallery in Beacon, New York, and a two-person show with Milo Moyer-Battick at Harpy Gallery in New Jersey. Delphine’s work has appeared in several publications including The Winter Edition, Issue 6, 2018, Art Maze Mag and Nut Publication. Her work will also be appearing in the New American Paintings Northeast Issue #134 out sometime late Spring 2018.
Recent Press
Baltimore Beat: Three Painters at St. Charles Projects, Joshua Bienko, June Culp, Delphine Hennelly, Consider What Comes Before Words by Rebecca Kirkman
Inertia Magazine: Studio Visit with Delphine Hennelly by Amy Boone-McCreeshe
Body Litterature: Interview with Painter Delphine Hennelly by Jessica Mensch
ARTMAZE Mag: Tapestries, with horizontal and intersecting painted lines traveling through the compositions like woven thread: the work of Delphine Hennelly by Christina Nafziger

Mickey Mackenna’s (b. 1992, Toronto) multidisciplinary practice centres on how values and neuroses
slip into visibility through negotiations on the physical plane. She believes in a synchronicity between
physical and emotional structures and these are the forms she articulates in her work. The mediums she
uses such as steel, gauze, stone, silk, silicone, linen, clay and plaster are chosen for their semiotic
properties and anthropological significance. Materials are manipulated to achieve a cross-material
congruency between physical and psychic state. Mackenna’s sculptures function as surrogates for human
experience rendering fleeting feelings permanent in form. Mackenna has had two solo exhibitions in
Toronto ("Hushed Plea" at The Loon and "The Crux" at Autumn Gallery) and has participated in a number
of group exhibitions. Mackenna earned her BFA in Sculpture from OCAD University in Toronto in 2016
and will be beginning her MFA at the Royal College of Art in London in September 2018.
Recent Press
Formely Known as Magazine: Interview with Mickey Mackenna, p.45-48