By Alyssa Laverda, Assistant to the Directors and Head of Sales
Seraphin Gallery welcomes a new addition to our precision list-- Madeline Peckenpaugh. We believe that she has reinvigorated the legacy left behind by Jackson Pollock and Jasper Johns. These blue chip mid-twentieth century artists changed the face of the fine art forever. The all-over style, defined by Clement Greenberg as a composition which could be expanded beyond the canvas, and action painting, coined by Harold Rosenberg, detached art from social or ethic normality and seduced viewers in one instant.
Madeline Peckenpaugh denies the connection to the all-over painting style, but acknowledges that she is akin to the action painters of the 1950s. Large gestures of movement during her painting process is crucial. She enjoys working the canvas to its limits, through sculpting paint in relief. She diverges from the all-over technique because of her careful planning of the composition. Although it may appear that Peckenpaugh is painting crudely, her work is defined by creating paths and blockades throughout the painting.
Peckenpaugh creates these paintings and hangs them low to the ground to simulate an entryway. The artist encourages the viewer to feel as though they could walk into her paintings - that she has created a space for them, but there is a struggle. This notion of real space sets Peckenpaugh apart from the work of the Abstract Expressionists-- whose work was meant to be felt in one overpowering instant. Seraphin Gallery has coined Peckenpaugh as an Abstract Realist. This term oxymoronically describes the unique and profound conflict that viewers deal with when presented with her work, adding another dimension to this promising Philadelphia artist.
The inspiration for her work starts as a feeling, something intangible. This emotion is based upon surroundings, ambience, the weather-- one instant of awareness. She then recreates this sensitivity in a painting. The depth in her painting is deceitful, she allows multiple entry points for the viewer's eye and then closes them off. This is not to betray the viewer, but to translate perceptions, whether they be pleasure, anxiety, comfort, excitement, or immobilization.
She is a graduate of both the Certificate and Bachelors of Fine Arts programs of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Founded in 1805 by Charles Wilson Peale, the Academy is modeled after the French Academies, focusing on representing the human form through rigorous training and study. Peckenpaugh's paintings are consummated with a trained eye from the oldest and one of the most respected art schools in the nation.
The artist carefully prescribes a rich color palette, which commands respect in any collection. These paintings are brilliant, both in skill and while her works are large, she has graciously accepted our request, on behalf of collectors, to create commissioned works on a slightly smaller scale so her painting is more easily accessible.