Serene Strength: Claire Sherman

26 Apr

There is a quiet power that abides in certain landscapes that compels us to humilty.  No cell phone reception, no internet, no traffic whizzing by.  Nothing to make us believe we are the center of the universe.  Just earth and rock and water and light.  It is in these places that the earth is welcoming, yet can be strong and unyielding.  The work of New York artist, Claire Sherman captures the essence of the quiet, raw power of our natural world.

Boulders, oil on canvas, 86x78

Sherman’s overall cool palette, tinged occasionally with warm tones conveys the earth’s reticent beauty.  It wants us to explore and appreciate its wildness, but fears the mark our hand often leaves.

Butte, oil on canvas, 72x84

Ravine II, oil on canvas, 84x96

This is still a dangerous place.  We often forget, wrapped safely in suburban cocoons, thinking we are master of all that we survey.  Yet still in many places, one wrong step and we may become prey to the earth’s power.  The artist’s linear, often jagged brushwork reminds us to tread carefully.  She is beautiful, yes, but we must never forget her untamed nature.  Try as we might to use her up, certain parts of the earth will always remain wild and inhospitable to man.

Holes, oil on canvas, 72x60

Trees III, oil on canvas, 78x84

These places are for her renewing and for moments ours, but they belong to her.  That we will do well to remember.  To see more of Claire Sherman’s work, please visit her website.  Her work can be seen in person at the Kavi Gupta Gallery in Chicago.

Featured image is Pile of Rocks, oil on canvas, 72×78.  All images are via the artist’s website.

11 Responses to “Serene Strength: Claire Sherman”

  1. jacobmkelley April 26, 2012 at 10:00 am #

    The brushwork reminds me of Dana Shutz’s self-eaters as well as some of David Hockney’s recent i-pad paintings.

  2. Brian Filipowich April 26, 2012 at 11:38 am #

    oohhhh, all of these are great, i particularly like Trees III

  3. Brian Filipowich April 26, 2012 at 11:47 am #

    i just spent a good 15 minutes on her site, really really awesome stuff

    • Lesley April 26, 2012 at 12:31 pm #

      Isn’t it? I had a tough time choosing which images to feature. They are all incredible and given their size, I’m sure even more impressive in person.

      • Brian Filipowich April 26, 2012 at 12:39 pm #

        of those u didnt include, i loved Overhang, 2009; and Island, 2008.

  4. kinetikat April 26, 2012 at 2:24 pm #

    Ravine II for me! Wow, love the fractured quality she gets in there. Just excellent stuff, thanks for sharing.

    • Lesley April 26, 2012 at 2:58 pm #

      Fractured is a wonderfully apt description, kinetikat! Glad you enjoyed Claire’s work!

  5. francifularts April 27, 2012 at 2:46 pm #

    Love the colors and faceted effects! I can imagine these are incredible in person! I’ll have to check the website to see the rest in this series!

  6. Jess Shippee April 27, 2012 at 3:45 pm #

    Oh wow! I absolutely love his work. The strokes seem messy yet deliberate.. I can see a definite ravine but it is so much more. Sorry I’m not good at articulating but I do really love the multi-faceting and the angles and the colors and such.

    • Lesley April 27, 2012 at 3:56 pm #

      I think you’re better than you think. 😉 Glad you enjoyed Claire’s work, Jessie!

  7. princessofthejellyfish April 28, 2012 at 6:29 pm #

    I found those images really peaceful. I would love to own a few of them.

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