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Basement Gallery :Molly Hill : 7 – 30 April Usually, when Molly Hill creates artwork
Basement Gallery :Molly Hill : 7 – 30 April Usually, when Molly Hill creates artwork
Basement Gallery :Molly Hill : 7 – 30 April Usually, when Molly Hill creates artwork
Basement Gallery :Molly Hill : 7 – 30 April Usually, when Molly Hill creates artwork
Basement Gallery :Molly Hill : 7 – 30 April Usually, when Molly Hill creates artwork
Basement Gallery :Molly Hill : 7 – 30 April Usually, when Molly Hill creates artwork

Basement Gallery :Molly Hill : 7 – 30 April

Usually, when Molly Hill creates artwork for an exhibition she follows a theme, with inter-related imagery. This is not the case with her new show, opening at the Basement Gallery in Downtown Boise on the 7 th April. She has taken a less disciplined approach to subject matter and allowed her imagination to wonder without restraints or the boundaries she usually imposes on herself. The result is a wonderfully rich mix of narratives, as the artist darts to and from new and revisited symbolic visual language. There is the expected homage to an Asian cultural aesthetic that has been a continuing preoccupation of the artist, and for which she is renowned. However, in some of her new smaller paintings her characters’ dress and faces appear more Basque than Chinese.

A longstanding interest in Chinese culture and history was realized in 2007, when the artist had the opportunity to tour a number of historical sites throughout China. She received a grant from the Idaho Commission on the Arts to mount a one-person exhibit of the resulting work, titled ‘China Daydream’ at J Crist Gallery. She continues to revisit the themes explored in this body of work remarking that, “Art influences art. It all gets absorbed and assimilated and re-interpreted, and over time what we call a style emerges. Everything has something to do with everything else, so words that try to explain it don't always fit into a neatly wrapped package. I try to speak simply and still say something.

This unapologetic appropriation in Hill’s work is actually an expression of the artist’s own personality, rather than any attempt to exploit. She sees the theme, as a vehicle to explore imagery that she is “obsessively curious about, intrigued by, and compelled to investigate”. In effect she has created her own world through an amalgamation of visual aspects drawn from the traditions and rituals of strong cultures, and her own experience of the human society – A world in which she feels comfortable and that says more about Hill’s own identity than the actual subject matter - In her words, “a kind of metaphor for the artist, saying on the canvas what the artist perhaps cannot verbalize”.

Although she enjoys the appreciation her work attracts, she shuns the spotlight when it is focused on her, preferring to communicate through her paintings. This communication is candid and forthright. On her website she describe painting as being “about obsession, dedication, determination, honesty, plain hard work and a willingness to stand naked in front of strangers”.

Basement Gallery

928 West Main Street

Boise

Idaho

83702

Hill places figures within the composition as decorative elements in a tableau. They appear to have a limited interaction with the depicted events or other players in the scene. Instead they nearly always hold a direct gaze with the viewer. This device creates a slightly awkward nature to the work that is quite charming. With economy of line and color Hill paints engaging faces that demand our attention.

I first came across Molly Hill’s work while researching Boise artists, just before my move from the UK. I was immediately attracted to Molly’s simple folk art sensibility, oblique narratives and rich colors, and had contacted her before my visa was even in my hand. As it happened my timing was quite perfect. She had just found herself without representation in Boise, following the redirection of the J. Crist Gallery in order to become the guardians of the James Castle collection and study center. However, it was almost a year before I was able to provide a gallery space to show her work. It has been another year leading up to this first solo show at the Basement Gallery.

Although Hill had always painted, describing herself as a ‘closet artist’, she did not pursue art as a vocation until relatively late. She had already had a corporate career and her daughter was grown before she received her BFA from Boise State University in 1997 and was accepted into the University of Washington's MFA program in 1998. Her mother became ill with cancer, which necessitated her return to Boise before completing her MFA. Despite this interruption, she recalls the year spend a grad school as being formative and where she began developing the style that she works in today – a style she has continued to evolve in the more private and reclusive environment of her studio at home. Over the past twelve years she has established a deserved reputation with galleries representing her work in both Idaho and Washington, and has work in Boise Art Museum’s permanent collection.

The Exhibition continues until 30 April. For further information and/or press images please contact Jane Brumfield at the Basement Gallery on 208 333 0309, 208 297 0498 or email info@basementgalleryboise.com

Listings Information Basement Gallery: Molly Hill : 7 – 30 April Molly Hill’s paintings have a simple folk art sensibility with oblique narratives. Figures within the composition act as decorative elements in a tableau, holding a direct gaze with the viewer. This devise creates a slightly awkward nature to the work that is quite charming. With economy of line and color Hill paints engaging faces that demand our attention. Open: Tuesday – Saturday, 10am – 5pm & by appointment. Basement Gallery 928 West Main Street Boise, Idaho, 83702 T: 208 333 0309 www.basementgalleryboise.com

Basement Gallery

928 West Main Street

Boise

Idaho

83702

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