Greg Kucera Gallery is pleased to announce our fifth solo exhibition of work by Seattle artist Sherry Markovitz. The exhibition’s title, Time to Take a Walk, refers to both the primary subject matter of dogs and the opportunity for observation, reflection, and inspiration that the artist finds in the simple activity of a taking a walk.
“There is something about the rhythm of life that has always interested me. I feel led into art through observing the quickness or slowness of a dog, the elegance or clumsiness of a walk or a run. Relentless observation is my work and my hobby.
In these paintings and sculptures I have both moments of meditation and times of intense attention to detail. Given the slowness of beading and the concentration of painting, I follow my own pace.
It is through walking that I conceive most of my decisions about where to go next.
Throughout her career, Markovitz has created works that challenge commonly held notions of female decoration and craft by taking her work to the outer limits of each. For this exhibition Markovitz uses animal forms (stuffed animals for sculptures, dog imagery for paintings) to question how we construct images of the self and how we interact with others.
The artist’s sculptures are richly detailed animals heads, referencing children’s toys, portrait busts, and hunting trophies. Layers of under painting and intensely colored beads build to create swirling abstract compositions on the surface. The opaque, transparent and translucent beads give the work a shimmering, jewel-like beauty.
The compositions in Markovitz’s gouache paintings on cotton are moments in time, vignettes created from the artist’s observations of dogs, both individually and in groups, interacting at a local dog park. The unstretched paintings hang loosely on the wall, catching the breeze and moving softly with wind. The paintings are in motion seemingly animating the dogs.
Sherry Markovitz was born in 1947, Chicago, Illinois. In 1969, she received her BA from the University of Wisconsin and moved to Seattle to attend the University of Washington, where she earned her MFA in 1975.
In her professional career of 40 years, Markovitz has shown her work across the country in one-person and thematic exhibitions including a 1987 show with Seattle Art Museum, and a 1992 exhibition with the Mint Museum in North Carolina. Her large retrospective exhibition, organized by Washington State University, toured to the Bellevue Arts Museum and the Schneider Museum at Southern Oregon University in 2008. A book published by University of Washington Press titled Shimmer: Paintings and Sculptures, 1979 – 2007 accompanied that show.
Her work is in the permanent collections of Corning Museum of Glass, New York; Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, Seattle, WA; John Michael Kohler Art Center, Sheboygan, WI; Mint Museum, Charlotte, NC; Museum of Arts and Design, New York; Tacoma Art Museum; and the Seattle Art Museum, among other major museums.