Thursday, May 28, 2009


Nancy Pane Fortwengler’s Solo Artist Show of Figurative Dress Paintings
at The Art League Gallery

June 4 – July 6, 2009

In Nancy Pane Fortwengler’s series of figurative dress paintings, the body exists without the figure. The human body is not present in any of her work. The dresses, costumes, and tiers of fabric are in motion without a body to propel them. Fabrications reveals the construction, shape, and composition of these vibrant forms while embodying the presence of the human figure.

Exploring the form and iconic symbols of femininity are long, reoccurring subjects for Fortwengler. This particular series evolved from working backstage with a ballet company. “The dancers, costumes in movement under the dramatic stage lighting created a wonderful abstraction within the layers of fabric. As light traveled though layer upon layer, new shapes were created, and I saw something new. The bodies of the dancers became irrelevant, and the dresses took on a life of their own.”

These figures are soft yet powerful. The female forms take “center stage,” with only one “figure” featured in each piece. Fortwengler’s exaggerated color palette creates a heightened sense of reality, and places each piece in a dramatic, moody environment.

Fortwengler works almost exclusively in pastel. “Pastel is my preferred medium. It unites the act of drawing and painting, unlike any other medium. The very nature of holding the pastel, and manipulating it directly, allows me to greatly control the amount of pressure and pigment I apply to the surface. The luminosity, vibrancy, and consistency of pastel are extremely relevant to my subject matter, enabling me to fully capture and portray transparency and dimension.”

Fortwengler is a resident artist at Columbia Pike Artist Studios in Arlington, VA, a member of The Art League, and is a full member of the Degas Pastel Society, an associate member of the Southeastern Pastel Society, and the Pastel Society of the West Coast. Her work is held in collections nationally and internationally. She continues to study with Diane Tesler at The Art League School, a longtime mentor and teacher for over two decades.

“Fabrications,” June 4 – July 6, 2009
Opening Reception: Thursday, June 11, 6:30 – 8:00 pm
at The Art League Gallery
in the Torpedo Factory Art Center
105 N. Union Street
Alexandria, VA 22314

Fabrications is sponsored by Frame Masters.

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