Angela Fraleigh earned her MFA from Yale University School of Art and her BFA from Boston University. Her solo exhibitions include PPOW Gallery in New York, Inman Gallery in Houston and Peters Projects in Santa Fe. She has exhibited at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art and has been the recipient of several awards and residencies including the Yale University Alice Kimball English grant, The Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program Brooklyn, NY and the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts in Omaha, NE among others. Fraleigh has created site-specific solo projects for the Edward Hopper House Museum, the Vanderbilt Mansion Museum, the Everson Museum of Art and the Delaware Art Museum. Fraleigh looks forward to exhibitions at the Weatherspoon Art Museum, Hirschl & Adler Gallery, and the Montclair Art Museum. She currently lives in Allentown, PA, where she is Full Professor and Department Chair at Moravian College.
My work looks at how meaning gets made--- by that I mean, how we come to believe what we believe--- personally, culturally, politically.
I interrogate narrative art’s hierarchical patterns, observing how they intersect with contemporary representation, to help uncover why certain stories remain relevant, who they benefit, and how.
Sourcing literature, art history, speculative and science fiction, semiotics and social theories, as well as personal narrative, my work examines historical records through the lens of intersectional feminist ideals and questions how cultural storylines are told, how they are structured and unfolded, and how that comes to shape our experiences in the world.
To help sharpen this focus I have collaborated with museum curators and historians to unravel and reveal alternative accounts in their permanent collections, placing my site-specific paintings in direct dialogue with the objects of the time period I’m painting from. This kind of “intervention” examines how we derive meaning for the images we encounter and opens up avenues for new interpretations for the academic, the child or the everyday visitor, while spotlighting the institution’s role in exposing power dynamics.
My work weaves together realism and abstraction in lush and complex compositions, ranging from intimate portraits to monumental figure paintings that ask: How do the stories we tell; the fairytales, myths, legends and spiritual/religious narratives, along with the images that accompany them, express and influence cultural attitudes about contemporary women, and how do these remnants shape our beliefs about race, economics, gender and sexuality? How does representation, in both overt and nuanced ways, contribute to present experience? And, is it possible to change the past to experience a different future?
Key to my approach is a charged visual eroticism, which I deliberately create by coupling the seen with the unseen: swirling abstract spaces combine with bold voids of color; thick pours of luminous paint or lustrous metallic leafing obscure fleshy forms, creating an immersive hallucinatory “witches brew”, drawn from invisible histories, subversive tales, coded messaging, and feminist utopian literature, evoking a time-travelling Euchronia, where the possibility of a harmonious, specifically female space, can exist.