Sherry Kerlin’s recent paintings will be on view at Heskin Contemporary from January 11th – February 16th, 2008. A reception for the artist will be held on Friday January 11th, from 6-9 pm.
Sherry Kerlin’s recent work is a departure in style from her previous painting. Using portraits, her work centers on the known and unknown, the famous and near famous, what we can see and what we think we may understand. While these are recognizable figures, people we may pass on any given day on any given street, they are pushed by the artist and abstracted, focused on deeper intentions, showing “the viewer that nothing is what it appears to be.” We can see in Kerlin’s painting, the extensive history of portraiture. We discover in the faces of sailors, painters, children, a new way to view who we are. Using, she says, “what lies beneath the surface of an experience, a comment, a thought” to present a clearer reality.
Kerlin’s work is authentic; she is a painter in this city, in this nation at this time when history’s truth-like lies undermine any sense of what might be real. The artist shows us that “the surface of life is slippery and thin” despite our “obvious attempt to look pretty or pious.” We must, as she reminds us dissect what is inside us to find some seed of truth, no matter how unpleasant. This is painting that is necessary, that has a point beyond the needs of the artist and speaks through the faces of image to remind us: pay close attention, “excavate the layers of life.”
Ms. Kerlin received her BFA at the Chicago Art Institute, Chicago, IL and received her MFA from the Kansas City Institute, Kansas City, MO. She has been the recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts Grant in drawing, and received a residency at the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire.