Darby Milbrath’s Although the wind… exhibition at Projet Pangée is an ode to the rural landscape. Birthed during a summer stay at a farm on a small gulf island, Milbrath’s towering oil paintings are loaded with luscious colour and pastoral whim, typical of her landscape-meets-dreamscape style, which she is becoming internationally celebrated for.
In one painting titled Vespertine (2020), we peer through swampy tree silhouettes onto a faraway shore surrounded by aqua waters and a dazzling purple sky. In The Fool (2020) mauve mountains meet a radiant peach and coral sky, with bright blue fields depicted below. Layers of rich colour, sitting like stains atop one another rather than globs of paint on the canvas, make it difficult to discern the difference between foliage, river, or moving body—though it hardly matters. It is the joy of painting, of colour, that resonates through Milbrath’s swooping brushstrokes and jewel tones. I keep glancing between Milbrath’s work, the autumn scene beyond the gallery windows, and back inside again.