Kaye Donachie

Maureen Paley

The modest proportions of the six paintings in Kaye Donachie’s latest exhibition served only to sharpen the focus of the gaze she turns upon her subjects—a gaze that makes visible a kind of fruitful incoherence (to use artist Susan Hiller’s endlessly useful and provocative term). To say, then, that Donachie’s subject here is women’s contributions to modernist thought and practice would be to oversimplify. What it is to be present, to be active, to have a voice, and to assume, ultimately, some measure of control over the fate of one’s productive labor are all questions that these paintings bring to bear. This may be why Donachie’s colors, for example, nod to the dance between domesticity, ornament, and the avant-gardes. The white and yellow blobs of paint in several of the canvases are immediately arresting, suggesting the theater lighting and leisure spaces of fin de siècle Paris; the pale

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