A lavishly illustrated overview of the life and work of realist painter Dale Kennington, featuring more than eighty-five of her most renowned works 

Grandeur of the Everyday is the first full-length volume dedicated to the life and work of Dale Kennington—an accomplished master of contemporary American realism. Often holding a strange familiarity, even for those coming to her work for the first time, Kennington’s paintings are at once familiar and yet defy specificity of place, vivid and lucid while also rich in composition and subject matter. These effects derive from her unique ability to capture the essence of everyday living, the ordinary “in between” moments we often overlook in our day-to-day habits and transactions.

Kennington referred to her paintings as “merged memories.” Combining elements of photography, memory, and imagination, her art is an entrancing blend of contemporary and magical realism, with themes ranging from loneliness to community and culture, from class and race relations to the juxtaposition of private and public life. Rather than study the spectacular, she concentrated on commonplace moments of human interaction, inviting observers of her paintings to ponder their significance and to complete their implicit narratives. Often relying on local subjects for her paintings—barbershops, bars, restaurants, gospel concerts, motel rooms, nursing homes-she presented a diversity of local experience.

Grandeur of the Everyday is a treasure trove of her most accomplished creations and includes more than eighty-five examples of both Kennington’s easel paintings on canvas and her freestanding wooden folding screens. The volume also offers an original interview with the artist conducted by Kristen Miller Zohn, an introduction by art historian Daniel White, and a critical essay by the director of the Mason-Scharfenstein Museum of Art, Rebecca Brantley.

Dale Kennington (1935–2017) called Dothan, Alabama, home for most of her life. Her work has been featured in dozens of exhibits throughout the United States and is held in the collections of many regional and national museums. A recipient of many awards and accolades, in 2007 she was selected to represent the state of Alabama as an ambassador for the arts to Italy.

“Dale Kennington’s art of the everyday rises to the level of the extraordinary because of her sure handling of the elements of painting: composition, perspective, palette. It is not hyperbole to say that Dale Kennington is, for those many of us who admire and respect her work, a regional and even a national treasure.”
—William U. Eiland, Director of the Georgia Museum of Art

128 pages / 85 color figures
ISBN: 978-0-8173-1975-5 Cloth
ISBN: 978-0-8173-9168-3 Ebook