Danielle Orchard - Modern & Contemporary Art Evening Sale Hong Kong Friday, May 31, 2024 | Phillips
  • “Having this jumping off point that’s often pulled from modern masters … I’m able to ground the viewer in this familiar space where they might know what to expect narratively, but then push it into a direction that is more contemporary or specific to my lived experience—to the woman painter living in New York in 2020.
    — Danielle Orchard



    Danielle Orchard, a contemporary artist with a distinct voice in the contemporary art scene, skilfully revisits and refreshes the principles of 20th-Century Modernism. Born in 1985 in Michigan City and now working from her studio in Pelham, Orchard's work delicately explores the nuanced realms of intimacy and femininity. Her 2019 piece, Parade Float, while being her largest work to be offered at auction, serves as a prime example of her approach, merging vibrant narrative depth with a keen art historical awareness. This painting came into the spotlight during Orchard's time at the Tamarind Institute, where she was the third recipient of the prestigious Frederick Hammersley Artist Residency.



    Dissecting the Dreamlike Parade


    The present lot captures a scene that is simultaneously ordinary and surreal, marked by the artist’s signature use of vibrant colours and fragmented, dissected forms. Typical of Orchard’s body of work, she depicts a series of female figures engaged in a celebration or a private moment of theatrical display in Parade Float. The setting is ambiguous yet intimate, enhancing the dreamlike quality of the work. Notably, the title directly refers to the festive nature of parade floats during celebrations, and by placing female nudes on a parade float it marks the artist's bold gesture in putting the female figures front and center, not shying away from public gaze. Orchard employs a range of hues from deep blues to bright reds and oranges, which not only draws the viewer’s eye across the canvas, but also layers the painting with added depth. Her use of colour not only defines the space, but also highlights the emotional states of the figures, suggesting a narrative beyond the immediate visual encounter.



    Detail of the present lot


    Orchard's approach to form and space in this painting reflects a clear reference to Analytical Cubism. The figures and objects are broken up and reassembled in an abstracted, dissected manner, allowing multiple perspectives to coexist within a single frame. This fragmentation creates a sense of movement and dissonance, challenging the viewer’s perception and inviting them to piece together the narrative from the visual clues provided. The brushwork oscillates between deliberate, controlled lines in the depiction of the figures and more spontaneous, expressive strokes in the background and surrounding elements. This technique creates a dynamic tension between the subjects and their environment, emphasising the constructed nature of the scene and the painterly process itself.



    Cubism Reimagined Through Her Lens


    Cubism, pioneered by artists like Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque in the early 20th Century, revolutionised the way in which artists represented reality. It emphasised the flat, two-dimensional surface of the canvas, deconstructed objects into geometric forms, and presented them from multiple angles simultaneously to convey more information and emotional impact.


    Danielle Orchard’s Parade Float echoes these Cubist principles through its fragmented forms and multiplicity of viewpoints. However, Orchard diverges significantly in her approach to narrative and emotional connectivity. Whereas Cubism often leaned towards the abstract and the analytical, detaching objects from their traditional context and emotional weight, Orchard re-infuses her abstracted forms with a palpable emotional depth and narrative intrigue. Her work is as much about the inner lives of her subjects as it is about formal experimentation.


    Pablo Picasso, Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, 1907, The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Image: © The Museum of Modern Art, New York/Scala, Florence, Artwork: © 2024 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York 


    Orchard’s use of colour starkly contrasts with the often-muted palettes of early Cubism, which primarily focused on monochromatic and earth tones to emphasise structure over sensation. Orchard’s vivid coloration brings a new layer of interpretation and feeling to the Cubist technique, making the subjects of her paintings resonate with contemporary audiences on both an aesthetic and a visceral level.


    Additionally, while Cubism was predominantly a male-dominated movement that sometimes objectified its subjects, Orchard’s focus on female figures and experiences places her in a dialogic position against this historical backdrop. She challenges the traditional narratives and representations of women in art, offering a modern reinterpretation that is both empowering and critically engaging.



    Collector’s Digest


    Born in 1985 in Michigan City, Danielle Orchard currently lives and works in Pelham, MA, USA. She received her MFA in Painting from Hunter College, New York, in 2013 and BFA from Indiana University, Bloomington, IN in 2009. Known for her modern-era painter influences like Picasso and Matisse, Orchard's work involves abstract portrayals of female nudes, using a multi-perspectival Analytic Cubist style and vibrant, solid contours. Her recent exhibitions include Is it Light Where You Are?, Perrotin, Shanghai, March 15, 2024 - May 25, 2024, You Are a Serpent Who’ll Return to the Ocean, Perrotin, New York, April 26, 2023 - June 10, 2023, as well as a forthcoming solo show at Perrotin, Tokyo in 2024. Her works are part of several prominent collections, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York and Pérez Art Museum, Miami.

    • Provenance

      V1 Gallery, Copenhagen
      Acquired from the above by the present owner

    • Exhibited

      New York, Jack Hanley Gallery, Mother’s Magazines, 30 January - 1 March, 2020



Parade Float

signed and dated 'Danielle Orchard 2019; Danielle Orchard 2020' on the reverse
oil on canvas
210.5 x 249 cm. (82 7/8 x 98 in.)
Painted in 2019-2020.

Full Cataloguing

HK$400,000 - 600,000 

Sold for HK$533,400

Contact Specialist

Danielle So
Specialist, Head of Evening Sale
+852 2318 2027

Modern & Contemporary Art Evening Sale

Hong Kong Auction 31 May 2024