‘In this room, the line is haunted.’ So says Brooklyn-based artist Mira Dancy of her inky works, where thick, jet-black lines depict the curves of the female body. In Yes at New York’s Chapter NY, Dancy takes her poetic contours from floor-to-ceiling pieces to more intimate framed work.
Yes brings together a variety of works, with one painting taking up two of the gallery’s walls, a neon relief and a series of smaller works on paper from 2013 onwards. This represents a good cross section of Dancy’s practice, which often switches between engulfing, inky monochrome painting and vibrant neon. It is her approach to the female form that pulls it all together.
The nude woman is not a new thing in art, but here she is something to be considered instead of ogled at. She holds an enigmatic power that is both seductive and motherly, flawed, real, yet mystical. Even full-frontal genitals seem more natural than they do pornographic. ‘The images aren’t perfections, but amalgamations of all the who’s we were standing in the mirror when we saw our bodies flicker on the horizon.’
Dancy’s way of talking about her work sounds more like poetry than theory, and that’s a perfect fit. Her words float and jump with a freedom that is similar to the flow of her work. Her acrylic and ink lines are graphically spooky and she melts her subject, the sky and the land together, all following the hypnotic curves of her female forms. Her painting style is free and open, her lines are often simple but well placed.
Her work has a kind of otherworldliness to it, looking at astronomy and the body within the wider universe. The electric blue flicker of the neon relief reflects this deep sensuality, an intriguing alternative to the classic red glow of marketed sexuality. These women are complex, each with a slightly different type of femininity that often takes a moment’s consideration to fully decipher.
Yes is Mira Dancy’s second solo exhibition in New York, and is open to the public until 10 July.