In this Book
- Grandeur of the Everyday: The Paintings of Dale Kennington
- Published by: The University of Alabama Press
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Grandeur of the Everyday is the first full-length volume dedicated to the life and work of Dale Kennington—an accomplished master of contemporary American realism. Kennington’s works often hold a strange familiarity, even for those coming to her work for the first time. Her paintings are at once familiar and yet defy specificity of place, clear and lucid while also dense in content. These effects derive from her unique ability to capture the essence of everyday living, the ordinary “in between” moments we often overlook in our day-to-day habits and transactions.
Kennington referred to her paintings as “merged memories.” Combining elements of photography, memory, and imagination, Kennington’s art is an entrancing blend of contemporary and magical realism, with themes ranging from loneliness to community and culture, from class and race relations to the juxtaposition of private and public life. Rather than study the spectacular, she concentrated on commonplace moments of human interaction, inviting observers of her paintings to ponder their significance and to complete their implicit narratives. Often relying on local subjects for her paintings—barbershops, bars, restaurants, gospel concerts, motel rooms, nursing homes—she presented a diversity of local experience.
Grandeur of the Everyday is a treasure trove of her most accomplished creations and includes more than eighty-five examples of both Kennington’s easel paintings on canvas and her freestanding wooden folding screens. The volume also offers an original interview with the artist conducted by Kristen Miller Zohn, an introduction by art historian Daniel White, and a critical essay by the director of the Wiregrass Museum of Art, Rebecca Brantley.