Theodora Allen: Saturnine

Theodora Allen: Saturnine
Author: Stephanie Cristello (Ed.)
Publisher: Motto Books
Language: English
Pages: -
Size: -
Weight: 700 g
Binding: Hardcover
ISBN: 9782940672110
Availability: In stock
Price: €32.00
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Product Description

Catalogue of Theodora Allen’s solo exhibition Saturnine
Kunsthal Aarhus
14.05–18.07.2021

Straddling criticism and prose, this first monograph of Los Angeles-based contemporary artist Theodora Allen interweaves the artist’s emblematic use of symbols with the cultural history of Saturn and Melancholy from ancient myth to the present. Alternating between fictional texts and research-based essays, Theodora Allen: Saturnine puts forward different spheres of reading organized in four sections alongside full color plates. Each chapter adopts the format of a reader comprised of two parts: first as narrative, second as criticism.

The works discussed illuminate how elements within Allen’s symbolic lexicon—which include serpents, moons, moths, hourglasses, wildfire, hallucinogenic plants, and windows into other realms—have remained generative. Weaving histories that span centuries, Saturnine delves into the iconographic representations of melancholy since the origin of the four humors. Connecting specific moments within ancient Greek history and mythology, medieval psychology, Fin de Siècle Europe, and the Zeitgeist of 1960s California, Saturnine offers meditations on the kaleidoscope of references that find their footing in Allen’s paintings.

Often referred to as the curse of artists, the melancholic temperament has particular resonance in our contemporary moment. In Saturnine, author and curator Stephanie Cristello considers the implications of the inner world achieved in Allen’s paintings in relation to the cultural allusions and artistic manifestations of Saturn’s influence throughout art and culture: under a magnifying glass, instead of through a telescope.

Published on the occasion of the exhibition Theodora Allen: Saturnine at Kunsthal Aarhus, Denmark May 14–July 18, 2021.

With support from Blum & Poe, Los Angeles/New York/Tokyo, and Kasmin, New York.


Artist Biography

Theodora Allen (b. 1985) holds an MFA in painting from the University of California in Los Angeles, a BFA in painting from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, and has completed a residency at Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture in Madison, Maine. Recent solo exhibitions include Light Pollution, 12.26, Dallas (2020), Weald, Kasmin, New York (2019), and Vigil, Blum & Poe, Los Angeles (2017). Allen is represented by Blum & Poe, Los Angeles/New York/Tokyo, and Kasmin, New York.


Author Biography

Stephanie Cristello is a contemporary art critic and curator based in Chicago. Her research is specifically motivated by contemporary works that interrogate how language, text, and the use of poetic devices influence and shape the cultural and historical structures that surround us. She is the founding editor-in-chief of THE SEEN – Chicago’s International Journal of Contemporary & Modern Art and her writing has been published in ArtReview, BOMB, Elephant, Frieze, OSMOS, Mousse, and Portable Gray, as well as numerous exhibition catalogues. Cristello served as a curatorial advisor to the 2020 Busan Biennale in South Korea, and holds curatorial positions at Kunsthal Aarhus in Denmark and Malmö Art Museum in Sweden. Her forthcoming books are Sustainable Societies for the Future (Motto, 2021), and Barbara Kasten: Architecture and Film 2015–2020 (Skira, 2021) in partnership with the Graham Foundation.