Molly Dee (American, b. Buffalo, NY; 1938-2022)

Sepia, a pigment derived from the common cuttlefish, has been used for over a century. It was originally used by photographic toners to increase the range of visible shades in a black & white image without reducing contrast.  Sepia is a color gradient, absent of color, apart from its characteristic, warm umber.  Contrary to the chiaroscuro techniques favored during the Renaissance, where modeling light sharply against dark suggested volume, sepia used as toner diffuses the sharp, two dimensional edges between painted light and shadow, the softness evoking vintage and nostalgia.

Molly Dee the Romanticist paints in sepia tone to evoke an entirely personal, immediate, familiar and pleasantly emotional  response.  Molly Dee the Minimalist uses sepia tone to diminish the volume in human forms against land or sea ‘scapes, diverting the viewers attention to mood.  Molly Dee the Figurative painter prefers sepia tone to animate body language and unspoken expressions among her subject gatherings.  Hers is a modernist voice applied to a traditionalist vocabulary.

American painter, Molly Dee was born in Buffalo, NY in 1938. Studying at the acclaimed Albright Knox Art School, she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in 1960 from the University of Buffalo. Work for her Masters of Art Degree in 1973 and subsequent graduate studio work was done at the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Old photographs garnered from estate sales, family collections and historical archives are the inspiration for Molly’s large figurative paintings. Her unique style and interpretation of photographic images evolved from the artist’s early fascination with photos of her own parents, whom she had never known…

…Dee’s work is large in scale and profound in impact; now widely collected by both individuals and corporations world wide.” Rider Frames & Gallery

Recent Examples at Auction