Pulling from the grand narratives and symbols of Western art history, Brooklyn-based artist Naudline Pierre creates fantastical new worlds in paint. Worlds wherein, she says, “I hold the power and get to do whatever I want.”
In her large-scale three-panel painting, Written in the Sky (2022), Pierre reimagines a historical altarpiece, populating it with beings from a universe she has invented. Transforming the traditional depiction of the Virgin Mary’s ascent into Heaven from something passive into something transcendent, Pierre’s female figure dominates the centre panel, supported on the heads of two other beings, as a star bursts behind her. Far from submissive, she is powerful, swathed in red and surrounded by snakes, a symbol of regeneration.
Also featured are six works from the AGO Collection highlighting the European artistic traditions at play in Pierre’s work, including Dürer’s engraving of Adam and Eve (1504), Francesco de Mura’s painting The Assumption of the Virgin (c. 1751) and Rodin’s marble sculpture of Eve (c. 1883).
Recently acquired by the AGO’s departments of Arts of Global Africa and the Diaspora and European Art, Naudline Pierre’s Written in the Sky (2022) is the first work of hers to enter the AGO Collection and marks the first joint acquisition by these two departments.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Naudline Pierre (b. 1989, Leominster, MA), lives and works in Brooklyn, N.Y. Of Haitian descent, she creates works that explore a mysterious alternate universe full of characters who often interact with each other in tender ways. Drawing on references that are deeply rooted in the history of European art, her art looks to the past as she imagines a new future. Pierre holds an MFA from the New York Academy of Art and a BFA from Andrews University.