Walter Maciel Gallery presents “Fierce Women and Their Flowers” featuring new work by Katherine Sherwood. Also opening…Katherine Sherwood presents “Shine Light on an Owl’s Face” featuring the work of Joseph Alef, Susan Janow, Tony Pedemonte, Aurie Ramirez, and Ron Veasey. See below for more info. An opening reception took place on Saturday, May 14, 2022, but the exhibition will remain open until July 2, 2022. Remember to check with the gallery for up-to-date covid protocols and guidelines – (proof of vaccination and masks MAY be required).

Artwork by Katherine Sherwood

“Fierce Women and Their Flowers” includes paintings on the backsides of found Art History reproductions from her ongoing Venuses of the Yelling Clinic and Brain Flowers series as well as a distinct group of early figurative works.

The new acrylic paintings include large female nudes juxtaposed with small to mid-sized still-life paintings. Sherwood continues her process of re-imagining the heroines of her Venus paintings with a specific disability such as a leg brace, arm harness or prosthetic. In 1997 she suffered a cerebral hemorrhage which caused paralysis on the right side of her body limiting her to the use of her left hand. Unlike the earlier Venus paintings that featured Sherwood’s versions of famous reclining nude women who gaze towards the viewer, the new work references nude subjects who are shown from behind either looking back towards the viewer or away with their faces completely obscured. 

As noted in the painting Rear, based on François Boucher’s painting entitled The Odalisque, a nearly nude woman is seen laying on her stomach with her legs open and a loose-fitting garment falling off her shoulders gathering on her lower back. The vulnerable gesture is enhanced by the woman’s head turned towards the viewer with a look of innocence. In Sherwood’s version the woman’s left leg is shown amputated with a fitted prosthetic and the seductive shadowing of Boucher’s painted sheets is replaced with a flattened geometric pattern that immediately identifies the work as that of Sherwood.  The face and hair of the woman have been abstracted with the use of skillfully arranged scans of the human brain that are made of rice paper and collaged on to the surface. Another nude referencing the Portuguese painter, Josefa de Óbidos depicts a self-portrait of Sherwood seen from behind and with her leg brace attached to her right leg. The figure holds a red drape while standing defiantly on an ornate stool under a floral wreath much like in the original painting, Salvator Mundi.

In conjunction with her exhibition, “Fierce Women and Their Flowers,” Katherine Sherwood presents “Shine Light on an Owl’s Face” featuring the work of Joseph Alef, Susan Janow, Tony Pedemonte, Aurie Ramirez, and Ron Veasey. These artists all work with Creative Growth, a non-profit organization in Oakland that facilitates the inclusion of artists with developmental disabilities in contemporary art by providing a professional studio environment and gallery representation. The nationally recognized artists that are part of their creative community are uniquely situated to speak to the experience of people with developmental and cognitive disabilities.

On view: May 14, 2022 – July 2, 2022

What: Opening reception
Where: Walter Maciel Gallery, 2642 S. La Cienega Blvd., LA
When: Saturday, May 14, 3:00 – 7:00pm
Phone: 310.839.1840