One of the 14 female nudes in Danielle Orchard’s impressive solo debut, “A Little Louder, Love,” is called “Girl Removing Her Shirt.” With a confidently slick shorthand of early-20th-century figurative abbreviations wielded with a casual 21st-century élan, Ms. Orchard paints a woman sitting on the floor, with her back against a pale blue bathtub. Arms over head, wrists crossed as if pinioned, face reduced to a sketchy profile beneath the sheer fabric of the half-removed shirt, and naked except for a red tulip held between her thighs, she seems to be acting out the traditionally subject position of an artist’s model. But if she’s acting, it’s not subjection, after all: It’s subversion.
The same discreetly topsy-turvy radicalism comes through in the way she’s constructed. Though the image as a whole is graphic, colorful and easy to read, its parts are as distinctly separate as the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. One thigh is composed of an orange fin, a blush-colored bar and a brown rectangle; a section of dark wall fits neatly around a box of bath salts, more like a lid than a background. It all suggests a world in permanent flux, in which anything that seems permanent — gender, personality, identity — is an illusion.