January 10 – May 2, 2020

Cover the Waterfront features an array of circular compositions by Michigan-based artist Teresa Dunn. Dunn explores the contradictory nature of circles that, for the artist, symbolizes perpetual cycles of “isolation and belonging, loneliness and solitude, internal conflict, journey, the difference between home and homeland.” In these featured works, the artist creates a fictional island environment inhabited by a female protagonist and her associates. Dunn states that her paintings are a “combination of fictive futures, imagined alternate realities, and dream-like perversions of past events.” Objects of transportation are recurring components in Dunn’s compositions. The inclusion of boats, cars, bikes, and planes suggest that the protagonist inhabiting the spaces can journey from one narrative to another. The artist regards her work as “visually poetic and loose in narrative structure that is more lyrical and informed by color, pattern, light, and atmosphere as opposed to time or sequence.”

This body of paintings employs the use of still life as a springboard to storytelling. The objects employed in these compositions may be encountered, utilized, or consumed by the fictional island dwellers. Dunn functions as a storyteller and creates narratives from the thoughtful arrangement of her young daughter’s toys in energized still lives. The artist also finds inspiration in her child’s drawings and through play-acting. In Visitation, three female figures, one in a swimsuit and the others in fashionable attire, converge in an unusual outdoor setting. Based on the postures of the women, the viewer is left to contemplate if the meeting is a friendly or confrontational exchange. The artist’s rich use of color plays a strong role in conveying the overall tone and various seasonal settings, and simultaneously works to activate memories of sound and smell for the viewer.

Painting of a sailboat in harbor
Painting of a dog surrounded by food
Painting of a window in a surreal landscape
Watching the Sea
Painting of a motorcycle in a surreal landscape
Lotus House
Painting of pufferfish
Yellow Underbelly
Painting of a boat sailing away from houses on the shore
Moonlight Tug
Painting of people at the beach
Painting of a woman on a bicycle
Neither Here Nor There
Painting of a sailboat
Bird Boat
Painting of a car and motorcycle
Paper Moon
Painting of a biplane and boats
Night Flight
Painting of a girl in a canoe
Cover the Waterfront
Painting of grapefruit
Patiently Waiting
Painting of a bird nest
sandwich by Dunn
Painting of a cake with birds around it