Fine artist Donna Isham’s first solo exhibit at Gloria Delson Contemporary Arts features Isham’s thought provoking female-centric figurative series along with her emotive abstract works that explore the power and beauty of the unrestrained woman.
Isham’s figurative works are naked, raw and beautiful. She utilizes live models, photographs and a variety of materials from oil and acrylic to charcoal and pastels in order to create a more visceral impact. “This entire series embraces a more fluid concept of female beauty and power,” Isham states, “we can no longer be bound to some unattainable idea of perfection. We must celebrate our diversity and our individuality. I want to depict the true beauty of those who will no longer be marginalized, who challenge the status quo. Fearless and flawed, these women are beautiful.”
Isham’s passion for redefining outmoded standards of beauty was recognized following her ‘UnBound’ Art installation, featured during Art Basel, with Notable Magazine calling Isham’s work, “this is what feminist art looks like.”
Isham’s abstract work is equally focused on freedom of expression, “while my figurative series is female-centric, my abstract work speaks more to emotion than to gender,” says Isham. “I am a feminist but primarily a humanist so my abstracts are not gender specific. Free expression is a passion of mine, and with this work I wanted to distill feelings and emotion in order to create a dialogue with the viewer.” Applying palette knife and bold brush strokes, vibrant and muted colors, along with fast gestural mark making, Isham depicts raw, unfiltered emotion. Using biomorphic states, the abstracts have a lyrical quality that captures the motion of emotion.
Isham draws influence from her vast experience in fashion and entertainment. Her paintings are part of private collections worldwide, and her work has been exhibited at numerous galleries across the country including New York City, Los Angeles and several galleries in 2020 during Art Basel, Miami.