Janet Alling's flowers are pure New England. They are civilized and isolated. They are decorous, contained, and make no overture to fashion. The mystery of meaning reminds me of Emily Dickinson. The paintings are straight forward and impenetrable. Alex Katz
These are not ordinary flower paintings. They are flower pieces that have action and emotional Charge to them. They range from elegance to mystery to drama.Will Barnet
Forty-six years ago, after graduating from Yale university art School in 1964 (MFA), Janet Alling had a revelation that she would devote her career to expressing aesthetic statements through flowers. Her mission was to redefine flower painting as an important subject matter essential in the history of painting and in contemporary art.
Painting first in watercolors and then in oils, her main interest was the process of painting from direct observation of plants in natural light. The constant changing of passing daylight on leaves as they moved towards it fascinated and challenged her. She wanted to capture the strength of these living forms---the muscularity of stems and the shapes and patterns of leaves as she sought to portray the essence of each flower, leaf, and tree.
The results are not conventional, but come from much perceiving and thinking. alling's paintings are a development and progression of formal visual ideas, color exploration, light, composition, scale, and the phenomena of the natural world.
Using close observation and magnified forms, she worked on a large-scale. Her first one-woman show at 55 Mercer in 1972 was enthusiastically reviewed by Peter Schjeldahl, in the Sunday New York Times, Roberta Smith in Arts Magazine, and others who identified Alling as a painter to watch among the generation of realist painters working in large scale perception of reality: Alex Katz, Philip Pearlstein and Jane Freilicher.