Dennis McGonagle's Thesis:
The Landscape of Memory


By Dennis R. McGonagle May 2004

The project, The landscape of Memory grew out of my desire to create a new kind of landscape painting. The paintings represent a fusion of real and imaginary places: the Monument Valley Desert I drove through during my days as a Greyhound bus driver, and the quirky still-lives now created in my studio. The resulting images are spatially and contextually ambiguous. The line is blurred between what is real and what is imaginary.

There is a cinematic quality to The landscape of Memory. The moon cactuses, plastic animals, toy busses and plaster figures are like actors in a play. The action takes place in front of a photograph from Arizona Highways Magazine. In order to develop a personal narrative, I painted every aspect of these carefully constructed still lives as if they were real places. The forty small panels depicting the action are like stills from a movie.

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Guanajauto Interior