Known for her richly layered and chromatically nuanced abstract paintings, Rebecca Allan has for many years concentrated on rivers, tributaries, and watershed environments as primary sources of investigation. Her work explores the ecology, meteorology, and geology of the Northeast, Pacific Northwest, and the Gulf Coast. Working from a studio that overlooks the Harlem and Hudson Rivers in New York City, Rebecca is inspired by a deep appreciation for the beauty of the natural environment overlaid with an awareness of its fragility and endangerment.
"My paintings are rooted in the changing cycles of nature as well as a deep curiosity about science, and the forces underlying what we observe on the surface of things. Even when it is grounded in the visible world, a painting is a sensual invention that conflates real and conjured experiences. The language of color is a sanctuary within which the questions and problems of artmaking — indeed, of life — are confronted. I work within a transcendental American landscape tradition that includes painters such as Charles Burchfield, Joan Mitchell, and Neil Welliver but I also draw from the works of Renaissance masters such as Giovanni di Paola and Pieter Breughel in my desire to invent a new, cosmological landscape."
Exhibiting in the United States and abroad for more than 25 years, Rebecca's most recent solo exhibitions were presented at The Nancy Dryfoos Gallery at Kean University (curated by Neil tetkowski); Hudson Opera House Gallery; ArtLab78 (New York), The American Church in Paris, Ringling College of Art and Design/Longboat Key Center for the Arts; and Seattle Art Museum Gallery. Rebecca has been a Fellow at the Hermitage Artist Retreat, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Dorland Mountain Arts Colony. She is now preparing for her next solo exhibition at Indiana University, which opens in April 2105.
An esteemed teaching artist and art administrator for more than 25 years, Allan has taught painting, drawing, art history and writing at Purchase College, New York Botanical Garden, Wave Hill, Cornish College of the Arts, Gage Academy of Art, Allegheny College, and Seattle Art Museum. From 1998 to 2003 she was an artist-in-education with the Washington State Arts Commission. And from 2006–2014 Rebecca was the Head of Education at the Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design History, and Material Culture in New York City where she curated the exhibition-related programs for the BGC Gallery.
At the Society for Domestic Museology, Rebecca gave a talk and demonstration of her technique that culminated in two small works for the gallery. A description of the event can be found on our Events Page and a comprehensive overview of Rebecca's work can be found on her website: rebeccaallan.com.