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Sherry Karver
at Lisa Harris Gallery, Seattle, Washington
Recommendation by Laura Macomber

Sherry Karver, 'Continuum,' 2010, oil over photo imagery on panel, 32 x 44'

Continuing through August 28, 2010

In "Synchronicity," Sherry Karver's current exhibition of photo-based paintings, urban landscapes are re-imagined by centralizing not the setting - the streets, stores and architecture that compose cities - but rather the individuals that populate them. Cityscapes would not exist if not for the abundance of people filling them, and it can be easy to forget, in contemporary snapshots of train stations or bustling downtown avenues, that urban dwellers are not actually die-cuts of one another; they are singular living entities.

Arranged like paper dolls against candy-colored backdrops, Karver's subjects exude far less innocence than a superficial glance suggests. They stand next to but at angles facing away from one another. The disinterested proximity of these people brings an air of isolation and loneliness to the exhibit that is countered by the beauty of capturing a moment in time. For an instant, within the confines of a frame, these strangers are connected, synchronized, and while they may remain unknown to one another hereafter, for now they are part of a whole. And like all wholes, with further scrutiny comes the individualization of the parts that compose it, revealing people to be beautiful, ugly, materialistic, happy, worried, thirsty, and poor. Karver takes the personalization of her urban populace seriously, going so far as to provide small and eccentric written narratives about certain of her characters. The details - a delivery boy who dances by night, a divorced working mother of two - bring Karver's work out of the realm of image consumption and into the infinitely more complicated world of empathy.  

Harris/Harvey Gallery

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