Madeline Donahue (b. 1983, Houston, TX) makes paintings, drawings and ceramics that center on her experiences of pregnancy, birth, motherhood and owning a postpartum body. Her practice focuses on the surreal reality, physicality, emotionality and interdependence of these experiences. Intimacy is at the core of all of her work, addressing the simultaneous existence of abject and sublime facets implicit in the relationship with her children and body. These explorations detail these experiences – working through the isolation, fatigue, failure, anxiety, and joys of parenting. In Donahue’s work, pendulous breasts flap, stretched belly skin sags or flows. Many of her works include “bathers” – a nude figure moving through water, referencing Modernist portrayals of bathing women. She also references gymnastics, sports, and the “circus” of motherhood through titles, in the posture of her figures, and other visual representations. Each work is made efficiently in a fresh and fluid process that communicates and captures the immediacy of a present moment to create art.
Madeline Donahue’s solo exhibitions include "Live Wire" with Nina Johnson Gallery, Miami; “Fun House” with Praise Shadows Gallery, Boston; and “Attachments” with Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects in New York. She has participated in Untitled Art Fair and NADA Fair (Miami, FL) and exhibited extensively with galleries and museums across the US and UK including Johansson Projects (Oakland, CA), Lauren Powell Projects (Los Angeles, CA), Hesse Flatow (New York, NY), Deanna Evans Projects (Brooklyn, NY), and the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston, MA). Residencies include The Wassaic Project, Byrdcliffe Artist Colony, Artshack Ceramic Residency and Interlude Artist’s Residency in Livingston, NY. Donahue’s work has been reviewed in The Guardian, Hyperallergic, and Elephant Magazine. Interviews include Sound + Vision Podcast, I Like Your Work Podcast, and Artist Mother Podcast. She recently participated in “A Conversation on Alice Neel, Art, and Motherhood” facilitated by Lauren Palmor, assistant curator of American art at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.
Upcoming projects include Untitled Art Fair with Johansson Projects December 2022. Donahue holds a BFA from The School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University (Boston, MA) and MFA from Brooklyn College (Brooklyn, NY). Madeline Donahue lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.
Madeline DonahueStrange Magic October 6 - November 5, 2022HESSE FLATOW is pleased to announce the opening of Strange Magic an exhibition by the Brooklyn-based artist Madeline Donahue, marking her first solo-presentation with the gallery. Part innate sensibility, part acquired skill – strange magic is one way to describe the extraordinary power wielded to achieve countless feats of parenting....Read more
Madeline Donahue: The Art of MotherhoodAmil Niazi, New York Magazine: The Cut, October 5, 2022
Punchline: celebrating artists who use humor in their workVeronica Esposito, The Guardian, July 6, 2022
My Practice Looks Very Different Today’: 15 Artist-Mothers on Balancing Work and Family After a Year Like No OtherSarah Cascone, Arnet News, January 4, 2021
Dallas Art Fair 2023Madeline Donahue April 20 - 23, 2023HESSE FLATOW is pleased to participate in the Dallas Art Fair with a solo presentation of paintings, works on paper, and sculpture by Madeline Donahue. Madeline Donahue makes paintings, drawings and ceramics that center on her experiences of pregnancy, birth, motherhood, and owning a postpartum body. Her practice focuses on the surreal reality, physicality, emotionality and interdependence of these experiences. Intimacy is at the core of all of her work, addressing the simultaneous existence of abject and sublime facets implicit in the relationship with her children and body. These explorations...Read more