Between the Lines

by Jane Dalrymple-Hollo

June 14 – August 29, 2015

A Secret

Naropa University’s Lincoln Gallery presents recent paintings by Jane Dalrymple-Hollo in an art exhibition titled Between the Lines. Jane’s work has ranged from abstract geometrical paintings and drawings to assemblage boxes, “games without rules,” large cardboard constructions, theatre sets and costumes, book covers, art/poetry collaborations, and installations. The exhibition runs from June 14 – August 29, 2015 at the Lincoln Building on the Arapahoe Campus, 2130 Arapahoe, Boulder, CO 80302.

Jane has been a part of the Naropa community since moving to Boulder in 1985 with her husband, the late Anselm Hollo, a beloved poet and faculty member of the Jack Kerouac School.  She writes of the paintings in this exhibit, “Teachers were always telling me to use bold strokes with thick charcoal, but I stubbornly clung to my sharp-pointed pencils. I later realized that my natural way of working was a process of “Dividing Space,” a concept with roots in early Modernism, first associated with the Czech painter Frantisek Kupka (1871-1957). My paintings begin with a drawing, either in a sketchbook or as a full-scale “cartoon,” usually approached with no pre-conceived “subject” in mind. I just divide the picture plane with lines, angles and curves, making them relate to the edges and the lines I have already drawn, according to my own subjective experience of “juxtapositonal tension” between the lines.

I began to contemplate the relationships between surface and depth in abstract art years ago, after reading Working Space, Frank Stella’s 1983 Norton Lectures at Harvard, in which he challenged contemporary abstract artists to emulate the spatial drama of chiaroscuro, first achieved by the great Italian artist Caravaggio (1571-1610). Intrigued, I began to play with the idea of making my divide-space lines also imply depth. I have not succeeded in meeting Frank Stella’s challenge (unsurprising, since I can’t think of any artists who have), but in my case, trying to indicate deeper space led me to create imaginary interiors that no longer fit the technical definition of “abstract.” In other words, it’s easy to imply depth -- you just use perspective. And, while always being primarily concerned with the abstract relationships between the lines, curves and angles, I have found myself instinctively populating the deeper spaces with signature devices, such as game pieces, pitchers, urns, and musical motifs, probably because perspective tends to imply habitation. 

But the challenge I set for myself of marrying surface “linear tension” with implied “depth of field” has been intensely interesting to explore, and fascinating in the execution. And by explicitly emphasizing the linear drawing in all of the paintings, I think I have been successful in creating abstract relationships between surface and implied depth that correspond with the tension between the 2-dimensional lines, curves and angles that have long been part of my visual repertoire.”

Born and raised in rural north Mississippi, Jane Dalrymple-Hollo earned a BFA in Painting and Graphic Design at the University of Alabama, followed by an MFA in Painting at the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned an MLA (Master of Liberal Arts) at the Johns Hopkins University School of Continuing Studies, while serving a full-time paid apprenticeship in Conservation Bookbinding at the Johns Hopkins Eisenhower Library. She was a faculty-level book conservator at the Lee Library of Brigham Young University before moving to Boulder, where, in addition to making art, she has been a long-term volunteer advisor and advocate for Naropa University’s audio and institutional archives.