Cade Tompkins Projects is pleased to announce an exhibition of work by Donnamaria Bruton (1954-2012) created between 1995 and 2012. Bruton's career spanned over 35 years, as a renowned painter and educator at the Rhode Island School of Design.
Donnamaria Bruton's monumental paintings from 2008-2010 are unique landscapes with layers and textures that are revealed and concealed at the same moment. The impression is one of transcendental images such as horizon lines, plant forms swirls of water, and tree limbs all floating on the surface. Bruton captured an element of nature morte or "still life" with a mythic merging of color and form as in Untitled Landscape III 2008-2010 through the combination of paint, paper, stenciled lace, cotton, and glitter. Deeply spiritual, these last paintings by Donnamaria Bruton are peaceful, translucent and ethereal. Earlier paintings from the Daze Work 1995-1998 series contain the same sense of time and space but depict personal interiors with full rooms, much in the way Matisse and Van Gogh depicted their surroundings. For instance, Personalities are Portable 1996 shows a room with a ladder, tables, and a Kara Walker painting, all floating through space; and Chandelier 1996-98, features a largre central chandelier with a pencil drawing of a dress and apron and other everyday personal objects in the background.
Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Donnamaria Bruton graduated from Michigan State University in 1976 where she earned her BFA in Graphic Design. After graduation, Bruton continued her career by studying art with her uncle, painter Edward Loper in Wilmington, Delaware. During this time, Bruton became aware of the collection of art in the famous Barnes Foundation then located just outside of Philadelphia. The collection, founded by Albert C. Barnes in 1922, holds some of this country's seminal works by Matisse, Cézanne, Renoir and Modigliani as well as important examples of African sculpture. Bruton continued her education and earned an MFA from Yale University in Painting in 1991. In 1993, Donnamaria Bruton joined the painting department as Professor at the Rhode Island School of Design and her work is on view in the permanent collection at the RISD Museum.