Los Angeles

Cynthia Daignault, Elegy (House on Fire), 2019, oil on linen, 64 × 96".

Cynthia Daignault, Elegy (House on Fire), 2019, oil on linen, 64 × 96".

Cynthia Daignault

Night Gallery

In Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s 1945 essay “Cézanne’s Doubt,” the philosopher used the painter’s work to propose that an individual’s process of applying paint to canvas could serve as an index of the artist’s phenomenological experience of the world. “His painting was paradoxical,” Merleau-Ponty wrote. “He was pursuing reality without giving up the sensuous surface, with no other guide than the immediate impression of nature.” While Cézanne repetitively painted Mont Sainte-Victoire from life, Cynthia Daignault has, for the past five years, devoted herself to picturing the American landscape—actual scenes observed from nature as well as from film stills, documentary photographs, and other images taken from our cultural history. These landscape paintings aren’t simple records of an object or a place but testimonies to Daignault’s “immediate impressions”: her embodied experience, her observations,

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