Madeline Denaro | Taming the Unruly

After decades of abstract painting, I still find that what attracts me most is 

the unknown. Not knowing or wishing to know the outcome of a creative process

is quite engaging.


I am totally involved in the birthing of each work. I find that the stretching of the raw canvas and applying its primary gesso coats are for me a ritualistic process which starts its gestation, engaging me emotionally as I care for its life. 


What lures me though is not an aim for a finished work but the process itself. 

There is a personal vocabulary of marks and organic shapes but, if I get out of the way, they seem to form themselves rather than my contriving them.  There is a freedom in awakening something new. When my mind gets in the way, I need to retreat, as if a wrong path has been taken and something reroutes. 


I find myself interested in the act of painting. The act that is not automatic, not repetitive. I find that thought cannot intervene, cannot look for a result. I need to respond to a need that I recognize right now and not a repetition of a movement I’ve made a millions times before.  There is a certain freedom in this search for something new since it is not found by using my habitual, mechanical means. I need to recognize a certain quality of energy in the presence of movement. It is not always available and hence a work may struggle to find itself until it appears. I may struggle until parts of me are free enough to allow this force to enter. When it does however, there is no choice. It knows what to do and I, as the artist, must follow it. 


It is the action that paints. Without it there is no poetry, no magic, no real life.  

For Madeline Denaro painting is living in a dual world and even between these worlds.  It is a dance of two fields, both needed, neither taking precedence. The messy, chaotic life-part that is full of mishaps and accidents, tamed by a calmer more structured state that responds to what is needed on the surface.  The work isn’t created as much as it is allowed to evolve. 


Most often forms enter, even uninvited, and are obscured or merely veiled as passing thoughts or emotions stay as underlying attitudes but awareness guards them from ruling. Her work seems open, usually incorporating large fields of layered space with forms that gather almost needing each other as a composition unfolds. It is in this unfolding, open and receptive space that a new work is allowed to be born.