Sherrie Wolf: New Works
Sherrie Wolf's painting reflects a sense of keen historicism, reverence toward certain artistic antecedents and more recently, women painters such as Artemisia Gentileschi (1593-c.1652) and Elisabeth VigÈe-Lebrun (1755-1842) whose importance lay submerged for several centuries. Wolf couples this awareness with her own considerable skills in the creation of collage-like, meticulously-rendered still lifes which pay homage to her heroes, while simultaneously celebrating her own living sensations and capabilities. Wolf's compositions are organized thematically in a style which brings to mind both the "Vanitas" paintings of the 16th and 17th centuries (above all in the Netherlands, made to symbolize the brevity of human life, the transience of earthly pleasures and achievements) and the trompe l'oeil paintings of 19th century America (William M. Harnett, et al) which combined renderings of three-dimensional objects with two-dimensional cards, letters and drawings. Sherrie Wolf perhaps also means to speak of the brevity life and the transience of pleasures, but she obviously delights in "fooling the eye" through her increasingly virtuoso painting skills. In Two Pears (After Artemisia Gentileschi) [illustrated] she additionally has something to say about art's fickleness and changing priorities. Her images superimpose one another, perhaps in a 'perspectival' view of time. One wants to believe the pears are just ripe and eminently edible - not rotting before our eyes. The crystal plate holding them is immaculately painted and lens-like, but Artemisia's figures are subordinated by, as Wolf has said, "the artist's artifice."
© Ted Lindberg