Would you agree that the myriad of colors and patterns created by water is one of the most spectacular of natural beauties? Multifaceted artist Lorraine Shemesh believes so, but has evolved this fascination into something much more.
Presenting an innovative approach to contemporary realism, one in which the figurative and abstract expressionism are blended, artist Lorraine Shemesh’s first solo exhibition at Gerald Peters Gallery in New York opened on May 7. On view through June 3, “Inside Out” features a number of Shemesh’s latest artworks, including her three-dimensional pieces in clay — a first for the artist.

Lorraine Shemesh, “Black & White Tilted Vessel,” 2011, porcelain, 4 1/2 x 11 x 7 1/2 in. (c) Gerald Peters Gallery 2016

Shemesh’s two-dimensional oils present the viewer with contorted swimmers in states of suspension beneath the water’s surface. While some are fully colored and others in value tones, the pictures have come to represent Shemesh’s “interest in compression and expansion of space, shifting points of view, and in the current work, the dissolution of form, as the figure melts into its refraction,” the gallery writes. “This new body of work — consisting of 7 large oil paintings measuring up to 6 feet in height, and a series of drawings — is engaged in an exploration and development of various repeated patterns in order to create movement, rhythm, and harmony.”

Lorraine Shemesh, “Lunge,” 2013, graphite wash on Mylar, 29 1/2 x 23 in. (c) Gerald Peters Gallery 2016

Shemesh’s clay pieces are equally intriguing — and profound. Using a traditional Japanese technique called Neriage — in which different-colored clay bodies are used in the fabrication of the vessel — Shemesh explores her fascination with geology, the layering of rock formations in nature, and concepts surrounding earth’s memory and changes to the environment. The gallery continues, “Both the process by which she creates, and the works themselves, are expressive of a visual metamorphosis of form. The pattern of light and dark that is generated through these two processes explodes into vivid color in her canvases and has surprising graphic impact in her clay vessels. The way an object changes from the recognizable to the abstract, from the elemental to the physical, through exposure to light, is the crux of the works on view.”
To learn more, visit Gerald Peters Gallery.
This article was featured in Fine Art Today, a weekly e-newsletter from Fine Art Connoisseur magazine. To start receiving Fine Art Today for free, click here.

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Andrew Webster
Andrew Webster is the Editor of Fine Art Today and works as an editorial and creative marketing assistant for Streamline Publishing. Andrew graduated from The University of North Carolina at Asheville with a B.A. in Art History and Ceramics. He then moved on to the University of Oregon, where he completed an M.A. in Art History. Studying under scholar Kathleen Nicholson, he completed a thesis project that investigated the peculiar practice of embedded self-portraiture within Christian imagery during the 15th and early 16th centuries in Italy.


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