ALLISON GILDERSLEEVE BIOGRAPHY
Gildersleeve received her MFA from Bard College in 2004, and her BA from College of William and Mary in 1992. Gildersleeve has exhibited widely across the United States and abroad. Notable solo exhibitions include Olle Nymans Ateljeer (Stockholm, SE), Asya Geisberg Gallery (New York, NY), Auxiliary Projects (Brooklyn, NY), Robischon Gallery (Denver, CO), Cynthia Reeves (Walpole NH), Valley House Gallery (Dallas, TX), The George Gallery (Charleston, SC) and Galleri Andersson/Sandstrom (Stockholm, SE). Selected group exhibitions include Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art (NY), CRG Gallery (New York, NY), PS122 (New York, NY), Sharon Arts Center (Peterborough, NH), Dunkers Kulturhus (Helsingberg, SE) and Gana Art Space (Seoul, Korea). Gildersleeve was a 2018-2019 recipient of The Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program in Brooklyn, NY. She has been awarded a NYFA Fellowship as well as residencies at Yaddo, the Millay Colony, the Vermont Studio Center, the Liquitex International Research Residency in London, and the Norman Bird Sanctuary in Newport RI. Gildersleeve lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.
Behind Allison Gildersleeve’s canvases, collages, and drawings lies a singular proposition: places are not inert. They are repositories for all that passes through them. Gildersleeve returns again and again to familiar settings – wooded areas, home interiors, open highways, back country roads – to show that repeated visits to the same place invariably result in wildly divergent depictions.
Gildersleeve describes her process as such: I assemble and disassemble my images so that unlikely situations collide in the same plane. My studio practice mimics the way I process events around me. Logical space and linear time get tangled through my conflicting impulses to stay or escape either by racing forward or turning back. A bicycle leaning against a wood shed, a table littered with the remnants of breakfast, a darkened living room, an unmade bed, these tiny moments of insignificance take on the gravity of remembrance, as if they held the possibilities of a thousand different outcomes instead of the actual unfolding of events. .
Each studio day, I add ink drawings to my sketchbooks, distilling everyday objects and the landscape around me into line and silhouette. I use that growing library of personal iconography in the paintings as if they were props in a stage set, moving them around and rearranging their order until they bump up against each other in such a way that their origin becomes transformed. A vase, a doorframe, a clump of rocks and weeds, a parked car: each serves as a marker to me for a certain place, but those markers lose their stability when I shuffle them randomly into the deck. I don’t know how else to confront the messiness of living except by packing it with abandon into a single frame.