Able's new body of work, Venus Rising, is a series of paintings and collages that utilizes transparency in various ways. Her new collages were inspired by Sandro Botticelli’s, Birth of Venus. The famous Renaissance painting depicts the goddess of love, Venus, arriving on shore on a seashell after being born fully grown at sea.
Able’s focus on the female form was inspired by both Greek mythology and recent political drama. The paintings are in response to her belief that women will control the next millennium. The painting, The Three Graces, uses a stenciled background reminiscent of ancient impasto paintings with thick textures and glossy surfaces. The same technique is used in Able’s abstract work, which was inspired by her extensive gardens.
The materials that Able utilizes in her collages include photographs, patterned papers, insects, miniature figures, and watercolors. The images are layered onto the surface and then overlaid with transparent film which contains additional figures that reflect on the surface below. Able pays homage through her work to the artists who most inspire her—John Singer Sargent, Picasso, Leonardo Da Vinci, and Robert Rauschenberg.
Barbara Able has had five solo shows at Archway Gallery, where she has been a resident artist since 2013. She has a B.F.A. in Studio Art from the University of Texas and has done post-graduate studies at Art League Houston and privately with nationally known artists.
See the artist's work in the store.