This painting depicts several figures swimming in a lake. This work, part of the artist's ongoing series Other People’s Memories, is influenced by the lives and memories of others—as well as their connection to a specific time and place. The individual works in the series are fragments of a narrative that changes and develops as new pieces are added. The figures in these paintings are often shown from behind or cropped in an uncomfortable way. Most of the works in this series are on the smaller side; the artist appreciates the up close and personal quality of viewing a personal snapshot or a smaller composition. These works draw viewers near as they question what is actually present.
Holland Cunningham is an avid collector of discarded photography, which she often uses as a starting point. The artist's work regularly combines oil, water-based media, photography and animation. Cunningham's compositions are like fleeting moments in history or a past life—adding a layer of mystery by always leaving something out.
About this work, Cunningham says: "Having grown up in southern Virginia, I would find myself swimming in green lakes and rivers with my family. I was always petrified of snakes. There were plenty. This is someone else’s photo in some other place but somehow it is all about collective memory. And how we are all connected."
Holland Cunningham works are fragments of a narrative that continues to change and develop as new pieces are added, like fleeting moments in history or a past life. The artist’s work encompasses oil, water-based media, photography and animation, and she often uses her collection of discarded photography as a starting point for her compositions. Cunningham’s paintings frequently depict figures from behind or cropped in an uncomfortable way—adding a layer of mystery by always leaving something out.
Holland Cunningham was born in Roanoke, Virginia in 1967. The artist studied Art History and Studio Art at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VIrginia. Cunningham continued her studies at the Art Students League, the New York School of the Arts and the National Academy of Art and Design, all in New York City. Most recently, Cunningham was a visiting artist at the American Academy in Rome, Italy during the spring of 2022.
Solo exhibitions of Cunningham’s work include: Details at Voltz Clarke Gallery in New York City (2022); Body Language at Voltz Clarke Gallery in New York City (2020); Quogue in Common at The Quogue Gallery in Quogue, New York (2018); and Light Leaks at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University in New York City (2016).
Group exhibitions that have shown Cunningham’s work include: Larger Apples and Better Cotton in London, England (2022); Intersect Aspen in Aspen, Colorado (2022); Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy in London, UK (2020); Little Pink Houses at the New York School of the Arts in New York City (2019); and Friends Seminary at David Zwirner Gallery in New York City (2015).
Cunningham lives and works in New York City and Quogue, New York.