Circling Time: Deborah Dancy

January 15 – April 30, 2022


Circling Time features nearly 30 paintings by Connecticut-based artist Deborah Dancy. Her gestural compositions, often monochromatic and balanced with bright pops of vivid color, are rooted in abstract expressionism. Some of Dancy’s works span six feet and embrace the large-scale format often favored by the early abstract painters. The artist uses a form of inventive biomorphic abstraction to evoke emotion and express an unbridled freedom. Opting not to begin a work with preconceived ideas, the artist instead chooses to highlight the beauty of the unpredictable and the process of revision. Dancy embraces the idea of a “beautiful mess” expressing that “incompleteness—the unfinished fragment of what ‘almost was’ and ‘might become’—amplifies meaning.”

Dancy uses both additive and reductive processes in constructing her paintings. She adds painted passages that might later be scraped away as she searches to achieve a balance in the composition. The artist’s spontaneous process contributes to the sense of free flowing emotion found in many of her paintings. Dancy encourages various interpretation and formulation of meaning through the eyes of the viewer. The artist states “Experiencing a painting of mine can be like going to a country that is completely different. I want someone to embrace the different, the difficult, the frightening—even the ugly—in a culture that is vastly different from their own.” By not fully revealing her intention in the paintings, the observer is inspired to experience a unique, unrestricted, and deeply personal encounter with a painting.


Green forms left of a nest of black marks, oil painting      pastel colors behind a grid of blue-black marks, oil painting

Left: DEBORAH DANCY (American, born 1949). Aliens, 2018. Oil on canvas. Courtesy of the artist.

Right: DEBORAH DANCY (American, born 1949). Lost in Translation, 2018. Oil on canvas. Courtesy of the artist.