b. 1985, USA

Theodora Allen Artworks

Theodora Allen's paintings are marked by an intense process-driven practice. Her delicate and illusory canvases are created by layering thin coats of watercolour and oil paint onto linen. Then, using a soft cloth, Allen erases the recently added paint, emphasising the texture of the fabric and its deterioration.

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Allen's process both creates definitions and erases. Often using blue pigments, the images she creates feel airy, as if they fade into their own presence. This specific and meticulous process of addition and erasure emphasises the material as an archive, containing each specific decision made by the artist.

Myth, Nature, and the Metaphysical

Central to Allen's work are the themes of the metaphysical and the temporal. Through her meditative canvases, she explores themes of temporality and eternity, taking cues from literature, myths, nature, and music. Allen's work resonates with the poetry of William Blake, Pre-Raphaelite painting, and the cultural climate of California in the 1960s. The artist's work has variously depicted celestial bodies, insects, and hallucinogenic plants.

In her exploration into psychotropic plants, Allen painted her 'Shield' series (2019), a set of images of morning glory, opium poppy, and other plants framed by a shield. These still lifes explore the history of the plants' hallucinogenic effects, which range from having been used to poison women to being employed as remedies and aphrodisiacs.

Allen's first institutional solo exhibition, Saturnine, held at the Kunsthal Aarhus in 2021, explored the history of the planet Saturn. The artworks in the show focused on the mystical qualities associated with the planet, which are said to have influenced melancholic dispositions. Saturnine continues the artist's interest in exploring the intersections between the physical world and emotional landscapes, addressing the cyclical nature of humanity.

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Flight (Struck) by Theodora Allen contemporary artwork painting, works on paper
Theodora Allen Flight (Struck), 2021 Oil on linen
50.8 x 40.6 x 2.5 cm
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The Snake, No. 7 by Theodora Allen contemporary artwork painting
Theodora Allen The Snake, No. 7, 2021 Oil on linen
16 x 12 inches
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Life Thread (Gemini) by Theodora Allen contemporary artwork painting
Theodora Allen Life Thread (Gemini), 2020 Oil on linen
134.9 x 114.3 x 3.2 cm
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From the Watchtower (Double Moth no. 4) by Theodora Allen contemporary artwork painting
Theodora Allen From the Watchtower (Double Moth no. 4), 2020 Oil on linen
58 x 45 inches
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The Egg (Atropa Belladonna) by Theodora Allen contemporary artwork painting
Theodora Allen The Egg (Atropa Belladonna), 2018 Oil on linen
20 x 16 x 1 7/8 inches
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The Cosmic Garden IV by Theodora Allen contemporary artwork painting
Theodora Allen The Cosmic Garden IV, 2017 Oil on linen
56 x 42 inches
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The Cosmic Garden I by Theodora Allen contemporary artwork painting
Theodora Allen The Cosmic Garden I, 2016 Oil on linen
78 x 60 inches
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The Triad by Theodora Allen contemporary artwork painting
Theodora Allen The Triad, 2017 Oil on linen
20.75 x 16.75 x 2 inches
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The Snake, No.2 by Theodora Allen contemporary artwork painting
Theodora Allen The Snake, No.2, 2014 Oil on linen
20 x 16 inches
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Plot, No.4 by Theodora Allen contemporary artwork painting
Theodora Allen Plot, No.4, 2014 Oil on linen
44 x 34 inches
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Plot, No.3 by Theodora Allen contemporary artwork painting
Theodora Allen Plot, No.3, 2014 Oil on linen
78 x 60 inches
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