Kaye Donachie’s modest-size figurative paintings primarily refer to literature, biography and archival imagery, with a strong interest in early 20th century Avant-garde women who contributed to art and culture, but remain marginalised figures in history. For the artist these women have a clear sense of identity, represented through their writing and art and as muses.
Donachie’s dreamlike paintings re-imagine modernist female protagonists, transcending their fierce ambition and dreams into the present. The artist does not aim to represent a realistic portrait, but rather aims to capture an emotive atmosphere through a considered use of colour, light and figural gesture, merging reality, unconscious and fiction.
This acquisition, Monotonous Remorse, was made in response to the writings and poems of Iris Tree (1897 – 1968), an English Avant-garde poet, actress and muse to the Bloomsbury group. The soft and hazy profile portrait of Tree, who seems to be gazing in contemplative daydream, is painted in delicate shades of grey, blue and green, a colour palette that is distinct to Kaye Donachie.
Pallant House Gallery has an important collection of Modern British art and is aiming to strengthen the presence of female artists in the collections and exhibitions. The gallery is delighted to acquire Kaye Donachie’s sensual portrait of an unconventional woman like Iris Tree with the support of the Contemporary Art Society’s museums acquisitions programme and generous individual donors.
Kaye Donachie (b. 1970, Glasgow) lives and works in London. Recent solo exhibitions include Yuka Tsuruno Gallery, Tokyo, Japan (2019); Maureen Paley, London and Morena di Luna, Hove (2018). Recent group exhibitions include FRAC – Ile-de-France – Chateau Rentilly, Bussy-Saint-Georges, France (2019); Noire Gallery, Turin, Italy (2018) and Reading International, Reading (2017).