Updated: Jun 21
Most sensible folks would probably delay the prospect of a stroll through the sticky summer swelter of downtown Coral Gables until at least 4pm, but Alberto and I admit to a kamikaze streak, and so we showed up to artist Hollye Davidson's new studio in the heart of the city beautiful daringly close to the stroke of midday in early June.
The walls are an afterthought in this new space, and the expansive windows of the main studio endow it with a dramatic natural illumination that at once grounds and exhilarates the visitor. And this prepotency of light is as much a relief as the soothing presence of the artist herself. Her canvasses are presented on large easels across the main room as secondary actors, inviting the visitor to saunter and admire. In a contemporary art world obsessed with conceptual translation, with the need for continual intercessions, indulgences, rituals, and liturgies from experts that convey the intentions of artists to their audiences, Davidson appeals as directly to her viewer as the light will allow. In my mind, her work forms part of a necessary renewal and Reformation, the voice of an American artist unabashedly shaped by the traditions of Impressionism, Expressionism, and figuration who can "awaken" her viewer in a vernacular manner, in the vulgate language of intelligible forms.
Hollye Davidson is a Miami-based artist whose work has been featured in galleries and public works throughout the city and internationally. In portraiture, still life, and renderings of nature, the artist brings a steadfast concern with sublimating the emergence of form, with form as direct contact, with contact as distilled simplicity, with simplicity as nimble provocateur.
In a welcome departure from what art historian Fernando Castro Florez has called our era of "post-truth", these distinctly feminine forms of insinuation and intimation, this minimalism of line and form, bring us to an easy sense of gratitude, to a harbor of resolute hope, to an unexpected glimmer of grace. Is there room for such optimism in the world of AI doomsayers and warlord eco-saboteurs? Can we trust our instincts with such a direct aesthetic appeal or will we hold fast to the crutches of art world babel fish? Let us know in the comments below. You can experience more work by the artist here.
See more works: HollyeDavidson.com