Allegra LaViola Gallery is pleased to present Sarah Kurz: Made For Love, an exhibition of paintings, on view from February 8 – March 11, 2012.
In her first solo exhibition, Sarah Kurz turns her attention to a traditional subject: the portrait. Much as John Singer Sargent painted beautiful women and scenery of his day while exploring the ability of paint to convey light and texture, Kurz also chooses these as her focus. The women of Kurz’s paintings are a combination of myth and reality—they close their eyes to us and seem to dream of someone else, or gaze into a distance beyond our field of vision. When they do confront us, as in Tight Fit, their look reveals only more mystery.
In addition to the portraits, there are more unconventional “portraits”. In Tried And True we are presented with an image of breasts, very nearly life size, and lovely in their fleshy pinkness. In Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps we see two hands moving towards each other across sheets. Intimacy is not a suggestion in Kurz’s work – it is the driving force behind it. Small in scale and relentlessly pastel, the works require close up viewing. There is none of the brashness of a large canvas to overwhelm us. We need to politely knock in order to be let in.
The landscapes too are studies in color and form. Much like Whistler’s Nocturnes, with their hazy focus and gently varied shades, works such as The Smell Of Your Skin seem to vibrate. We expect the view to become clearer and eventually crystalize, but the moment never comes. Instead we are left squinting at the distance and lost in the luxury of so many blues.
Kurz approaches her chosen subjects with brush drawn: she is ready to cut to the bare bones of each image in order to achieve the most concise and precise rendering. No extra matter, no unnecessary frills crowd the plane. We are left to confront the images head on, with only the purest of lights before us.
Sarah Kurz CV