Dinorá Justice Press

See the latest news about Dinorá Justice’s current show, Mother/Nature.

The Boston Globe
Dinorá Justice turns to ‘Mother/Nature’ to reimagine artists’ objectification of women
May 14, 2023
By Maddie Browning


Artist Dinorá Justice was inspired by the opportunity to recast examples of objectification. She looked to Orientalism — the West’s limited depictions of the Eastern world — and the work of renowned 19th- and 20th-century male artists, such as Eugène Delacroix and Henri Matisse. Her art moves their depictions of women’s bodies from intimate, restrictive scenes and places them in nature, among sprawling florals and fronds.

Justice’s 2022 and 2023 “Portraits” series opened May 5 and is on display as a solo exhibition, “Mother/Nature,” at Gallery NAGA on Newbury Street through June 3. The Newton-based artist shifted the gaze of works such as “La Grande Odalisque” by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres and Matisse’s “Reclining Odalisque,” expanding upon, as she explained, women’s connection to nature and how the patriarchy tears both down.

Read the full article online here.

Ocean in a Drop
Breaking out of the boudoir: Dinorá Justice liberates master painters’ odalisques at Gallery NAGA
May 10, 2023
By: Cate McQuaid


The women in Dinorá Justice’s bountiful paintings in “Mother/Nature” at Gallery NAGA have no faces. They’re swirling, marble-patterned silhouettes. Yet looking at “Portrait Forty-four – after Matisse’s ‘Reclining Odalisque,’” (above) I was struck by how utterly relaxed the subject is compared to Matisse’s model.

Oh, Matisse’s nude is surely meant to look relaxed. Topless, she lies back against a pillow, arms above her head, eyes closed. But relaxed for the eye of the beholder is a very different thing than relaxed in oneself. Matisse’s odalisque seems more an obligatory ornament than a person, a fleshly anchor to a spectacularly patterned room, the cherry atop a master chef’s pastry. Meanwhile, Justice’s faceless subject veritably sighs in delight as she lolls in the grass, half-swathed in a floral crimson robe.

The Brazilian-born, Boston-based painter blows apart the objectifying male gaze, reclaiming nudes and other female figures familiar from works by artists such as Matisse, Ingres, and Delacroix, liberating them from their imprisonment as boudoir fantasies. Instead of fulfilling someone else’s pleasure, they now enjoy their own. The artist will be in the gallery for a conversation with Michelle Millar Fisher, the MFA’s curator oof contemporary decorative arts, on Thursday, May 11.

Justice’s process is not simple. She starts by marbling the canvas, and that first layer – essentially, the ground – becomes the figure, marble as skin, as she shapes its outlines with passages of wild patterns and florals. Bringing the ground forward as subject says, “see what we overlooked?” The unpredictable, tiny, whirlwinds of color in the marbling could be microorganisms, surging and swimming and replicating like life itself.

The male master painters placed their female models indoors, amid lush curtains and patterned pillows. Justice, every bit as enthralled by decorative textiles but mindful of their history as domestic arts, gives them back to women, repositioning the figures outdoors amid blossoms and greenery inspired by fabric swatches. She paints the scenes to look like collages: Patches of pattern and color bump up against each other, sometimes not quite matching. The switchback effect of figure and ground and the illusion of collage keep the eye active and uncertain, bouncing from one resplendent pattern to the next.

Indeed, it can take time to identify the figures. “Portrait Fifty-six – after Delacroix’s ‘Women of Algiers’ (Large),” (above) has only three of the four women in Delacroix’s romantic 1834 masterpiece. None in that painting are nudes, but Justice has stripped one. Her green marbled form nearly disappears among the wildflowers, and the palette of her skin shifts subtly across a grid of canvases. Nothing can be pinned down.

And maybe that’s the point. Subjective experience can’t be pinned down; it jumps and jumbles like a collage. But it is vitally present in the way our senses bring us back to ourselves – and that’s what the women Justice paints appear to relish. Look at “Portrait Fifty-two – Odalisque w/ Sun – after Ingres’ ‘La Grande Odalisque’” (above). She’s nearly draped in cherry blossoms, and her delectation is ours. I can’t help but think Matisse would approve.

Read the full article online here.

The Boston Globe
The Ticket: Things to do around Boston this weekend and beyond
May 3, 2023
By Cate McQuaid


DINORÁ JUSTICE: MOTHER/NATURE This artist’s extravagant, eco-feminist paintings take off from art history masterpieces that exemplify the male gaze. Reprising compositions of artists such as Matisse and Ingres, Justice fills in female forms with intricate marbling and swaps out interior boudoir décor for trees and plants. She relocates objectified women in nature using decorative patterns associated with the domestic arts. Through June 3. Gallery NAGA, 67 Newbury St. 617-267-9060, www.gallerynaga.com

Read the full article online here.