Lucy Fradkin: Terra Cotta, Terra Firma
Sharon Kaitz: Mothers in Arms
Opening Reception with the Artists: Saturday, November 8th, 4-6pm
Lucy Fradkin: Terra Cotta, Terra Firma Sharon Kaitz: Mothers in Arms
November 1 through 29, 2008 / Opening Reception Saturday, November 8th, 4-6pm
It is with honor and delight that Clark Gallery hosts Lucy Fradkin: Terra Cotta, Terra Firma and Sharon Kaitz: Mothers in Arms from November 1 through 29, 2008. Fradkin’s engaging portraits and Kaitz’s charged mixed media paintings vary in approach and style but share an affinity for exploring compelling themes surrounding familial relationships and societal expectations and structures. All are invited to join the artists for an opening reception on Saturday, November 8th from 4-6pm.
Bold color, striking patterns, and a diversity of pensive faces characterize the compelling portraits painted by Lucy Fradkin in acrylic gouache on paper. Referencing chapters in art history, folk art, and the art of hand-painted signage, Fradkin’s subjects range in age, gender, ethnicity, and personal style. Pointed use of color imbues each full-length portrait with an emotional content, setting the mood and serving as an indicator of gender and culture. These themes are also pondered and challenged through the patterns on the floor, wall, and clothing of each figure. The portraits convey a narrative, in part, through the incorporation of collaged elements taken from old catalogs, field guides, and vintage books. Although the formal, frontal pose of each figure consumes a fraction of emotion and personality by presenting each disparate individual in the same way, Fradkin successfully reveals each figure’s personal story by incorporating pattern and color into each composition.
Lucy Fradkin’s work has been exhibited in galleries and museums in Mexico, England, Italy, Jamaica, China, Japan, and across the United States, including the Smithsonian Museum National Portrait Gallery, Brooklyn Museum of Art, P.S. 1, Brattleboro Museum and Art Center, and a concurrent solo exhibition at the Casper Museum in Wyoming. A self-taught artist, Fradkin has been awarded grants from the New York Foundation for the Arts and Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation among others and created the body of work featured in Terra Cotta, Terra Firma while completing a residency in Dublin. Fradkin lives and works in Brooklyn, New York with her husband, Arthur Simms, an artist featured in several of Fradkin’s portraits.
“Come home before dark” and “don’t forget to wear your helmet” are warnings issued by parents to children on a consistent basis. In the recent mixed media paintings by Sharon Kaitz, it is with an even greater weight and urgency that these familiar words are expressed. Mothers in Arms considers parental advice within the context of war and anxiety of terror. Conveyed in large red letters over a scratched, worked surface, the pleas for protection assume a charged, desperate meaning. In a climate when evening news broadcasts are not complete without a story related to one of the many wars occurring around the globe, Kaitz’s paintings serve as reminders of the individuals foregoing their own safety to protect our own. Her work does not allow us to forget that modern, technological warfare has not eliminated the personal, human toll of war.
Sharon Kaitz is a Boston-based artist whose paintings and drawings have been exhibited in museums and galleries in Berlin, London, Tel Aviv, New York, and Boston. The ICA, Boston and Rose Art Museum have included her work in their exhibition programming. In 1999, Kaitz designed and executed the set for the world premiere of David Mamet’s play, Boston Marriage.