Sara Sizer, 'Gestalten'



Gallery Sofie Van de Velde proudly announces ‘Gestalten', the second solo exhibition by American artist Sara Sizer (°1967, Dallas, US) in the gallery. The exhibition shows a body of new painted velvet works. Sara Sizer lives and works in Berlin, Germany.

Sara Sizer continues to use velvet as a support for her strangely poignant paintings. For her,  velvet is a material with many associative memories and connotations; luxury, religious robes and curtains, femininity, museum walls, or also, in her case, coming originally from Texas, memories of Mexicans selling black velvet paintings of dogs playing poker, Elvis, sexy ladies, and sad clowns out of the open trunks of their cars parked on the side of the highway. So, the inspiration for the velvet paintings in this exhibition grew out of a strange combination of references: royalty, richness, sensuality and kitschiness as well.

Sizer works with "loaded" materials which have a life, a past, or a cultural reference, relying on the material itself to contribute to the sense of a painting. Materials can become narrative when they are, “left to their own devices".  Like people who grow up in a specific family, in a certain country, are operating with inborn traits, speaking a given language; the interaction of very particular materials can tell a story.

In this series of paintings, the materials, through capillary action, relate to each other in a very concrete way to create images. Wide, slightly curved or angled brushstrokes speak through their positioning and contact with each other. Swaths of syrupy color, painted initially with hard-edged precision, develop by themselves overnight, "blooming" and sucking on the nappy, porous, white velvet, finally morphing into blurred bars with irregular edges relating to one another like characters. One vertical upright shape may touch another, bleed into it and set off uncontrollable consequences for the image, and for the painter. An exercise in letting go...It could be a family, motherhood, a marriage, a loner, or a painting just trying to be alive.

 "One of the most difficult things of all is not to have the painting be a depiction of the event but the event itself..." Grace Hartigan

Text by Sara Sizer, 2021


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