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Laura Chasman, Andrea Sherrill Evans, Helena Wurzel
March 1 - April 7, 2012
Drive-By, 81 Spring Street, Watertown, MA
Drive-By is pleased to present Portraits, an exhibition of work by Laura Chasman, Andrea Sherrill Evans, and Helena Wurzel. Though all three are portraitists, each artist deals with that traditional art form in a very different way.
Drawn to the way people look, dress, and express themselves, Laura Chasman chooses her subjects from among those she encounters in her various roles as artist, mother, wife, and social worker. In Sylvie, Chasman portrays a young girl in her party dress. Painted in Chasman's signature medium, gouache, Sylvie looks directly at the viewer as she leans slightly to the left, as if weighted down by the lemon she holds in her hand. The vibrant color relationship between her fuchsia dress and the yellow lemon draws Sylvie's pale figure away from the murky green background, while her tight-lipped expression and tumbled brown hair say that she might be more comfortable in jeans and sneakers.
Andrea Sherrill Evans's silverpoint and watercolor drawings are portraits in the literal sense - they depict the artist and her husband. Yet Evans's focus on the interaction between their figures suggests that "relationship studies" might be a more apt description. In her Plaid Shirt series, Evans documents the couple straining to wear one double-wide plaid shirt. She actually constructed the shirt, combining two pre-existing LL Bean-style models, and then photographed the ensuing struggle. Based on these photos, her elegantly detailed drawings explore the pleasurable, frustrating, and awkward process of trying to achieve intimacy with another person.
Helena Wurzel paints portraits of herself and her friends. These small, empathetic works often show faces caught in moments of joy, sorrow, humor, etc. In Ana and Alexis #2, two young women in stylish sunglasses gaze towards the left. Saturated color and bold pattern create a mood of resolve, as Ana and Alexis focus on what's ahead.
Works like My Name Necklace, a painting of the artist's Carrie Bradshaw-esque necklace, broaden her definition of portraiture to include the clothing, accessories, and personal rituals that define the lives of contemporary young women.