Reviews

Rowann Villency's beautiful flower paintings explode in a profusion of colors: reds, pinks, oranges, turquoises, greens, golds, and violets. Whether working with acrylics or oil stick on canvas, linen, or paper, Villency revels in hues and textures. In spirit she could be a descendent of Monet, Dufy, Matisse, O'Keeffe, and Frankenthaler, celebrating light and the good life. Her works here, all 2011, seemed to invite everyone to join the party.

With its loosely painted, pastel-colored blossoms on a white ground, Le Fleur en folie 1 was one of several large mixed-media pieces on paper, as airy as spring breezes and equally refreshing. The ravishing streaks of yellow, plum, chartreuse, and magenta offered a seductive escape from daily life. "Les Fleurs," a series of three works done with stencils and spray paint to create misty, layered effects, was part of a larger group that betrayed Japanese influences and revealed Villency in a less flamboyant but equally sensual mood.

Most striking of all were La Fleur en feu 1, L'lnspiration diable, and the series "La Nuit en fleur," whose sizzling oranges, popping greens, and chrome yellows against dark backgrounds delivered some of the punch of Abstract Expressionism, without abandoning their botanical inspirations. Like Mrs. Dalloway in the flower shop, her arms brimming with lilacs, carnations, roses, and delphiniums, Villency seemed to be laughing with delight at nature's sheer profusion.

Mona Molarsky's review of Rowann Villency's exhibition at Walter Wickiser Gallery, in Art News, February 2012


Villency, with her clear affinities with the aesthetic concerns of artists as varied as Paul Cezanne, Henri Matisse, Georgia O'Keefe and Helen Frankenthaler, identifies with them in terms of subject matter and process. True to the concerns of such masters, three constants circulate through Villency's work: sensuality, strangeness, and transience. In an interview, Villency remarks: "I'm attracted to flowers and plants and I adore gardening...I like the erotic, the exotic and the ephemeral in nature...."

Dominique Nahas, an independent critic and curator based in Manhattan.




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