Sea Cave, 2016

Oil on canvas

84 x 66 inche

Night and Branches, 2016

Oil on canvas

48 x 42 inches

Island, 2016

Oil on canvas

102 x 84 inches

Trees and Water, 2016

Oil on canvas

78 x 66 inches

Tree, 2016

Oil on canvas

84 x 66 inches

Tree and Night, 2016

Oil on canvas

90 x 78 inches

Sea Cave, 2016

Oil on canvas

78 x 96 inches

Moss and Trees, 2016

Oil on canvas

72 x 60 inches

Night and Branches, 2015

oil on canvas

60 x 54 in.

Moss and Branches, 2016

Oil on canvas

60 x 54 inches

Trees, 2016

Oil on canvas

84 x 72 inches

Night and Branches, 2016

Oil on canvas

48 x 42 inches

Tree and Night, 2015

Oil on canvas

84 x 72 inches

Tree and Night, 2016

Oil on canvas

90 x 78 inches

Island, 2016

Oil on canvas

102 x 84 inches

Tree and Moss, 2016

Oil on canvas

96 x 78 inches

Night and Branches, 2016

Oil on canvas

48 x 42 inches

Tree, 2015

mixed media on paper

4 x 3 inches (image); 12 x 9 inches (paper)

Trees, 2016

Mixed media on paper

6 x 4 5/8 inches (image); 12 x 9 inches (paper)

Tree and Night, 2016, mixed media on paper, 6 x 4 1/2 inches (image); 12 x 9 inches (paper)

Trees, 2016

Mixed media on paper

6 x 4 1/2 inches (image); 12 x 9 inches (paper)

Moss and Tree, 2016

Mixed media on paper

4 x 3 1/2 inches (image); 12 x 9 inches (paper)

Cave and Beach, 2016

Mixed media on paper

6 x 4 1/2 inches (image); 12 x 9 inches (paper)

Sea Cave, 2016

Mixed media and paper

6 x 4 1/2 inches (image); 12 x 9 inches (paper)

Cave, 2016

Mixed media on paper

6 x 4 1/2 inches (image); 12 x 9 inches (paper)

Press Release

Opening Reception: Thursday, October, 6, 6-8pm

DC Moore Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of West Ridge, an exhibition of new work by Claire Sherman. Sherman’s paintings of exposed islands and chaotic forest interiors challenge us to encounter unpredictable, wild nature through the emphatic materiality of paint. Existing in tension with landscape archetypes, the paintings, like the exhibition’s title, evoke specific places that could also be anything, anywhere. 

Sherman distorts scale, color, and perspective to create “unraveling environments.” Branches bowed by fringes of moss sweep across the canvas and plunge back into space. Angular limbs appear silhouetted amidst the searing blues and agitated brushstrokes of the night forest beyond. In these works, the artist’s approach to subject matter and paint handling finds a parallel in her interest in epiphytes—plants that grow on top of one another in the tree canopy. 

As Grabner writes, “Landscape, albeit a traditional genre, has become a difficult category of engagement in contemporary painting simply because its pictorial limitations are nearly impossible to explore anew. Yet Claire Sherman is dedicated to landscape’s potential, and her large, complex compositions effortlessly depict the logic of the natural world while also tumbling into disorientating abstraction.”

Works titled Island seem to punctuate the frenzied, dense tangle of the overpowering tree paintings. Surrounded by empty sky, the centered masses test the limits of canvases already over eight feet tall. Each sheer rock face is made up of impossibly long drags of vertical paint and short compressed marks that register as geologic strata while simultaneously indexing the pace of the painting process. 

It is important to Sherman that her paintings take shape over the course of just one day in the studio. She avoids the overworked, achieving a surface imbued with a sense of ease, speed, and openness to imperfections. Yet sustained research, reading, travel, and photography inform the act of painting, resulting in works that are both seductive and ambivalent. Sherman explains, “I engage the history of painting while addressing our current relationships to images, landscape, and contemporary media.”

Claire Sherman has exhibited widely throughout the United States and in Amsterdam, Leipzig, London, Seoul, and Turin. She has completed residencies at the Terra Foundation for American Art in Giverny, the MacDowell Colony, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Workspace program, the Marie Walsh Sharpe Foundation, and Yaddo. She graduated with an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2005. An Associate Professor at Drew University in New Jersey, Sherman lives and works in New York City. West Ridge is her second exhibition at DC Moore Gallery.

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