The Duke and Duchess Series
Online Exhibition Courtesy of Lisa Sette Gallery

Like most of us, artists are homebound and, despite the disruptions to their lives and limited access to materials and space, many still feel an urge to create. Once such artist is Carrie Marill. Thanks to Lisa Sette Gallery, here’s an exclusive online exhibition of her latest work, the Duke and Duchess series.

Above:  A virtual view of Carrie Marill’s Duke and Duchess exhibition. The series consists of 13 drawings, which can either be purchased individually or as a full set. 

Artist Carrie Marill fearlessly approaches the tension between ornament and object, intellectual content and aesthetic emotion.  Marill draws inspiration from a vast body of research–from folk quilts and Persian miniaturists to propaganda posters and industrial design. In each presentation, however, a disciplined philosophy of color and form pervades.

Marill states, “The foundation of my studio practice is an ever-evolving exploration of color and pattern. Studying weavings, quilting, and modern art, I am interested in pushing visual elements to their limits. The resulting paintings expose tensions between the living surface created by bold patterning and the constraints of the two-dimensional surface on which they exist.”

Above: Carrie Marill 1874: A white work embroidered set of bed linens embroidered with the word “Pugs” below a royal coronet. c. 1955 (with detail), paper, walnut, gouache and ribbon, 12″ x 14.25″ framed, not including ribbon.

Her Duke and Duchess series depicts personal items included in the Sotheby estate auction (#700) that took place September 11-19, 1997 for the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Mrs. Wallis Simpson and Edward, Prince of Wales. Mounted in walnut frames with adorning ribbons marked with the Windsor/Wallis family seal, these thirteen gouache’s investigate genre painting, celebrity, and the idea of ownership. Perhaps most significantly, these drawings deal with the gluttony of winning and how the act of gaining a possession is often times more thrilling than the end result. 

Duke and Duchess suggests that the act of acquiring an item from this family of stature, with a history attached, during such an exciting event can prove to be even more desirable than the object itself. Many of the items depicted from the auction were the result of Wallis Simpson’s own frequent acquisitions.

Above: Carrie Marill 2265: A Dimitri Bouchene for Nina Ricci printed silk twill scarf, French. c. 1955 (with detail), paper, walnut, gouache and ribbon, 22.25″ x 22.25″ framed, not including ribbon.

Wallis and Edward’s romance was the number one celebrity affair of their time. In order to marry Wallis, an American divorcee, Edward was forced to abdicate his crown and for all practical purposes sent to exile in France. 

The unprecedented auctioning off of their personal belongings was set into motion following Wallis’ death in 1986 when the house was leased by the city of Paris to Mohamed Al Fayed, (owner of the famous Harrods department store). Wallis’ will dictated that items from the home (linens, sporting trophies, books, letter openers, cigarette cases, and some paintings) were to be auctioned off for charity. As Calvin Tompkins suggested in a 1997 New Yorker article, it also served as a reminder of the royal life Edward gave up for his life-long love affair.

The works can be purchased individually or as a set. Pricing ranges from $1,800 to $2,200 for each. The set of 13 is priced at $22,000.

Please follow link to the website to view the complete set

Although Lisa Sette Gallery’s physical space may be temporarily closed, feel free to

phone 480.990.7342 or e-mail with any questions.