Marianne Boesky Gallery is pleased to present Midnight Oil, an exhibition of new paintings by Summer 2021 cover artist Danielle Mckinney shown on the second floor of the gallery’s Aspen location through July 25, 2021. The works on view capture profoundly contemplative scenes with engaging and expressive energy, highlighting the artist’s intuitive observation of human life and feeling. Midnight Oil is the artist’s first exhibition with Marianne Boesky Gallery. 

Mckinney’s paintings present intimate portraits of a lone protagonist, primarily female, lost in moments of deep reflection and respite within lushly colored interior spaces. In these scenes, the artist pays particular attention to the gaze of her subject. At times, the figure captures the viewer’s eye, but most often the subject focuses on a space only visible to them, engrossed in their own solitude and rituals. The nuanced details of the paintings – a trail of smoke, the glisten of a necklace – invite further observation to reveal hidden narratives, exploring themes of spirituality and the self with cathartic effect. 


In her works, Mckinney skillfully delves into the formal elements of painting and image-making, apparent in the gestures and careful cropping of her subjects, attention to light and space, and the subtle symbolic references found in her distinct compositions. This imagery is made all the more arresting by the methods Mckinney employs from her experiences as a photographer in the darkroom, building up her compositions from a background of black paint to intensify the depth and vibrance of the scenes. Her paintings evoke a sense of timelessness, recalling art historical references and an imbedded canon of portraiture. Mckinney’s intuitive and minimal brushstrokes create vignettes that are self-reflective, pulling from the artist’s own experiences, and yet strikingly familiar in their human moments of rest and action. 

Read our cover story with Danielle Mckinney here