some inspiration :: katherine sherwood // tara donovan

i am always harping on my students to go see artwork. monkey see monkey do, right?

last night i was at gallery paule anglim  to see katherine sherwood's show. she was a professor of mine when i was an undergrad and totally influential. after school i worked for her for - in her studio and office for quite some time. that was a life changing experience. we discovered we have the same vocabulary/vision for color. i would print litho prints for her and she could say 10 in tangerine and 15 in bright lime green and i knew exactly what she wanted. that's actually a rare thing. your tangerine might be quite different from my tangerine, you know?

anyway - she was a mentor in many many ways. she helped me procure my first teaching job. i'm honored to call her a friend now. and her new paintings are STUNNING. really. she painted on the backs of these art historical prints that were mounted to linen [think vermeer, durer, renoir]. you can see the names of these legendary icons on some of the canvases. she's painted these amazing renditions of iconographic women - manet's olympia, ingres... but she's given them brain scans for heads [referencing the stroke she had 20 years ago], and they all have a disability [notice the brace on the woman above]. they sit on these STRIKINGLY gorgeous patterns. they are powerful, cheeky, art historically prudent [if you are an art history geek like me, these get you very excited on multiple levels]... and they are living in the same space with works by joan brown. brown was in many ways a mentor to HER. it's a very strong and interesting pairing. if you are local - please go see the show.

over the summer pace gallery put a pop up space together in menlo park and featured an entire giant warehouse of her work. i dragged the little right before the show closed. 

good god. 

i had seen pieces individually before, but never some of them. and never all of them together. 15 years of work. a mini retrospective. she still is one of my heroes. i've listed the everyday material in the captions below... 


cut pencils

paper plates

straight pins and glass

acrylic rods

mylar tape



Anonymous said…
THANKS for another introduction to some fascinating work!

How simpatico you and Katherine were/still are.

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