Asheville, NC, USA
Denby Dale is a mixed media artist residing in Asheville, NC. She is known for her adaptability within several artistic mediums including sculptural encaustic painting, abstract drawing, and small format assemblages. The abstract approach to all of her work is consistently informed by the embrace of color and visual indulgence, juxtaposed with austerity and minimalism.
Born in Washington D.C and spending the balance of her young adult life in Massachusetts, Dale received a BA in English with a minor in Studio Art from Connecticut College in New London, Connecticut. During the years that followed, she immersed herself in the representation of a number of accomplished artists across various genres, including contemporary painting from China and stone sculpture from East Africa, where she also traveled to assist in selecting new works for exhibition. While managing and operating galleries, and always happily tethered to an art community, Ms. Dale continued to develop her own art practice, and her work can be found in several private and business collections. She consistently exhibited works at several New England galleries, including Scargo Pottery & Art Gallery in Dennis, MA, The Provincetown Art Association and Museum, & The Cultural Center of Cape Cod. She has participated in several significant group exhibitions at galleries including the Bowersock Gallery and The Schoolhouse Gallery, both also located in the renowned historic art community of Provincetown, MA. In 2009 she was chosen to participate in the international encaustic exhibit Encaustic Works 2009, 7th International Biennial. In addition, Dale has exhibited and sold assemblage pieces at the DeCordova Museum & Sculpture Garden museum shop in Lincoln, MA, ID in Provincetown, MA, and Origami Ink in Asheville, NC. She was recently the selected cover artist and interviewee for The Laurel of Asheville, a local arts and culture magazine.
Currently, Dale’s encaustic and painting work is represented by Contemporaneo Asheville Gallery, in Asheville, NC. She will also soon be launching a series of cold wax, encaustic and mixed media workshops both at the Contemporaneo Gallery and in her own studio. Dale’s assemblage work is regularly accepted into numerous fine art festivals across the United States, which she selectively attends throughout the year.
I am a mixed media artist working primarily in encaustic, cold wax and oil, with ample portions of other media mixed in as needed. I find great satisfaction in the marriage of seemingly ill suited materials, a nod to my first love of collage and assemblage. Although the majority of my work is technically two dimensional, many pieces feature three dimensional sculptural elements that taunt the viewer with the suggestion of another layer, plane or surface of perspective – be it obscured or exposed- exploring the notion that not all is revealed or understood upon first blush or experience.
The dynamics of construction inform all of my work. I think of myself less a painter than a builder – be it with color and line on paper, sculptural forms with encaustic, or actual ephemera and objects with assemblage. My small assemblage work relies on the careful calibration of seemingly disparate elements and objects to create a narrative of sorts. My work in abstract drawing explores the juxtaposition of the organic and linear, the sparse and saturated, with color playing a major role. My encaustic work focuses on the minimalist aesthetic of subtle variation within repetition and pattern.
Why this toggling between movement filled colorful abstract drawings, pared down geometric studies in wax, and tiny format assemblages? For me, these notions reflect an everyday struggle – the perennial too much/not enough paradigm our current society jockeys within, and with which I grapple myself. Which is it? Does it depend on the day, the mood, the company you keep? Is there great solace in austerity, or presumed safety in indulgence?
I am an enthusiast – for indulgent color and movement born out of of furious mark making- but I secretly want to be a minimalist. So I make rich layered abstract drawings and paintings, and also pared down geometric studies in form out of wax paint. For me, it is a visual tug of war between the dense and the sparse; what is too much, and what is just enough.