Danielle Orchard


oil, pumice, and marble dust on canvas
31 x 58 inches

These paintings are about the anxiety around physical intimacy, the risks inherent to knowing another person. I paint mostly women, because that is the experience I feel best equipped to discuss. I explore these ideas by culling from Western art history, and look to Analytic Cubism, the Italian Renaissance, the Chicago Imagists, the Bay Area painters — any moment when the female figure has been used to indicate an otherwise hidden psychological position. – Danielle Orchard

The reclining female nude, a recurring subject for male artists for centuries, appears throughout the work of Danielle Orchard. The artist depicts her subject as a familiar curving body lounging on a low couch that recalls the posture of the women in old master’s canvases, but she injects contemporary life into the piece through the setting, props, and her direct painting style. In Night Reading, the nude is painted in an early Modernists style like Matisse or Léger, though the lighting is realistic instead of romantic, and she confronts the viewer while holding her cigarette and book, suggesting she is depicted in her own private world.