Image above: © Frances F. Denny, My mother’s hands / courtesy of ClampArt
ClampArt presents “Frances F. Denny: Let Virtue Be Your Guide”—an exhibition to coincide with the release of the artist’s monograph of the same title from Radius Books (Hardcover, 9.75 x 10.5 inches, 128 pages, 36 color plates, $45). This is Frances F. Denny’s first solo show.
Image above: © Frances F. Denny, Polka dot blouse / courtesy of ClampArt
“Let Virtue Be Your Guide” examines the artist’s family and their deeply rooted history as early settlers of New England. One ancestor, John Howland, was a deckhand aboard The Mayflower. Unearthing the idea of feminine “virtue” from the confines of its historical meaning, the photographs of the women in the artist’s family have a watchful quality, as if the artist is defining for herself what it means to be a woman. Her sitters, and the domestic spaces they inhabit, together evoke a distinct and well-worn privilege. In the photographs seams pull apart exposing the shifts occurring across generations of women. The resulting collection of images becomes a search for meaning in heritage, a challenge to the notion of legacy, and the artist’s reckoning with a traditional version of American femininity.
Image above: © Frances F. Denny, Cake / courtesy of ClampArt
The photographs included in “Let Virtue Be Your Guide” were taken between 2011-2014. They were shot in nine private residences located in Maine, Massachusetts, New York, and Rhode Island.
Image above: © Ashley Comer, portrait of Frances F. Denny from the opening reception
In addition ClampArt also presents“Frances F. Denny: Pink Crush”—an exhibition in the gallery’s Project Room.
“Pink Crush” describes the visual iconography of late 20th-century girlhood, reflecting the ways in which the aesthetics of an era shape a developing sense of self. The motifs and colors are reminiscent of Lisa Frank and other girlie-girl pop obsessions of the 80s and 90s. Despite a wariness of the saccharine, childlike qualities the subjects convey, the series as a whole betrays a longstanding attraction, and exposes how those girlish fixations can remain both outside and inside grown women.
Image above: © Frances F. Denny, Shape of My Heart / courtesy of ClampArt
Frances F. Denny (b. 1984) is an artist based in Brooklyn, New York, whose work investigates the development of female selfhood and identity. She holds an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, and a BA from the Gallatin School at New York University, New York City.
Image above: © Frances F. Denny, Pink Lemonade / courtesy of ClampArt
Denny’s work has won many awards including Magenta Foundation Flash Forward 2015, LensCulture Emerging Talent 2015, PhotoLucida 2014 Critical Mass Top 50, and winner of the Still Life category in PDN’s 2015 The Curator contest. Denny was named as one of “5 Photographers to Watch” by LightLeaked.
Image above: © Frances F. Denny, Across the Universe / courtesy of ClampArt