Clare Sherman, Pine Trees, 2006, oil on canvas, 152.5 x 183 cm, 60 x 72 in
Preview (with artist present) Thursday 11 January 6 - 8.30 pm
Houldsworth is proud to present the first UK solo show of young Chicago based painter Claire Sherman, whose work offers a dynamic approach to current critiques of romanticism and its traditions.
Sherman's paintings are rich and seductive, providing all the painterly expression that one looks for in a 'meaningful' landscape picture. However, Sherman's work is far from na´ve or expressionist, it at once fills the canvas with vibrant colour and gestural abandon, whilst providing the unnerving plasticised emptiness of a contemporary master such as Alex Katz. Indeed, Sherman's sophistication with paint is such that she surfs the boundaries of genres and, as the artist comments, "what remains is a play between fullness and emptiness, abstraction and representation, the synthetic and natural." Although many artists talk in terms of binary contradictions, Sherman's work bears testimony to such a grey area of understanding, mixing an uncanny ability to mimic the chaos of the natural world, with a beguiling ability to simplify phenomena into effecting stylistic conceits.
Sherman ensures that she gives the viewer as rich a surface as possible, the quality being one of cinematic spectacle, using dramatic lighting and oblique angles to create a sense of suspense, whilst suggesting a suspension in time - a freeze frame from a larger narrative. Sherman's world is, perhaps, an anterior place, filling our perceptual field with the writhing intensity of her unfaltering gaze. In this anterior world details become exaggerated, propelling out of the chaos; a particular colour comes to dominate, a vertical mark of a blade of grass becomes a retinal slash. Such a visceral language of paint truly begins where words leave off. Sherman's painting seems to make this the starting point of their dialogue with a media saturated contemporary sublime. Playing with the ambivalence of the sublime which, as Burke warned, in its concrete depiction can so easily slip into something grotesque, Sherman creates at times a simple poetry of landscape and form and at others offers satiation to the point of explosion.
Having enjoyed immediate success following her 2005 MFA degree show, Sherman has already exhibited widely with her Chicago gallery Kavi Gupta, and her work is in important collections across America including the Margulies Collection, Miami. Sherman is Assistant Professor of Art at Knox College, Illinois.
For further information please contact Pippy Houldsworth or David Harris on +44 (0)20 8969 6166 or firstname.lastname@example.org