Marianne Boesky Gallery is pleased to present Daisy Chain, a solo presentation of paintings by Maud Madsen. In a new group of large-scale paintings, Madsen expands on her exploration of our emotional connections to a specific time and place and the sanitization of memory. Through her portrayals of the female body, the artist sheds light on topics that are at times uncomfortable to leave room for an unvarnished and more complex truth. Daisy Chain is on view May 3 through May 28, 2022 at the gallery’s space at 509 W 24th Street. This exhibition follows the artist’s inclusion in the gallery’s group show In Situ in 2021.
The works that compose Daisy Chain place Madsen’s subjects in an array of environments—often recalling locations specific to the artist’s upbringing—but maintain the figure as the central focus. Caught between adulthood and childhood, the characters in Madsen’s work examine the insecurities of adolescence, including the artist’s hyper awareness of her own body as a young woman. Madsen displays her figures from unique and unusual vantage points, shown crouched on the ground or seen from below, to effectively put the body and its imperfections on full display in the canvas.
To craft the framework of her paintings, Madsen draws from the feeling of a particular experience and the imagery of her youth to transplant her characters into re-envisioned, invented memories. The artist depicts moments such as scooping dirt in a sandbox with a plastic bucket or sleeping in the sticky summer humidity to recall familiar experiences of childhood. Madsen’s use of saturated tones transports her characters into serene, almost dream-like spaces. To construct her scenes, the artist will go so far as to recreate miniature models such as of a childhood swing set to better capture the imagery and feeling of the space.
While the paintings’ surroundings recall feelings of child-like exploration, the bodies of women characters are mature and grounded to further map the often-awkward transitions of adolescence. The obscured faces in each painting leave space for ambiguity: subjects are seemingly unaware of the viewer and the onlooker is left room to see themselves in the figure. Madsen focuses on the female body to rewrite the memories of her past and give the women in her images room to be on display. Although beginning from a personal place, the artist constructs spaces in which insecurity, empowerment, and the tension of the real and imagined can coalesce to allow for collective reflection.
About Maud Madsen
Maud Madsen (b. 1993, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada) currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Her work has recently been exhibited at Half Gallery, Los Angeles; 1969 Gallery, NY; The Green Family Art Foundation, Dallas and New York Academy of Art, NY. Madsen received her BFA from the University of Alberta and MFA from the New York Academy of Art. She has been a recipient of the Chubbs Post-Graduate Fellowship at the New York Academy of Art and Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant.