New Canaan Library Exhibit: Light and space in the artwork of Alanna Fagan

On exhibit through October 10, 2010

Upstairs At Margaret's, oil on canvas 32" x 42". Image courtesy of Alanna Fagan's website.Last week I had the pleasure of attending a small show of paintings titled Interior Space(s) by Alanna Fagan exhibited at the H. Pelham Curtis Gallery in the New Canaan Library in Connecticut. 

I joined my mother on her second or third tour through the show. She has yet another visit there planned this week. She can't get enough of Alanna's paintings, and I can understand why.

Many of them, like "Upstairs At Margaret's", draw the viewer through somewhat muted, spare, layered space toward something reflective and colorful or more detailed, as if through a memory to the heart of the scene.  Alanna's controlled attention to the architecture, hardware, and furnishings gently guides the viewer's journey through the painting and the recollections it evokes.

Her work reminded me of paintings by Edward Hopper, Vilhelm Hammershoi, and Carl Larsson, all of whom had an eye for quiet, layered, familiar and evocative interiors. (All of whom I've referenced, at least tangentially, in House Enthusiast here, here, and here.) Those of you with ties to coastal New England homes will readily recognize in Alanna's paintings the domestic setting of youthful summers or of more recent escapes or even daily life.

If you can get to the show, and you're at all like my mom and me, allow for multiple visits.

by Katie Hutchison for House Enthusiast