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New series of paintings, drawings, and works in clay by Lorraine Shemesh on view at Gerald Peters Gallery
Lorrainse Shemesh, Surrender, 2015. Oil on canvas, 58 x 70 inches.

NEW YORK, NY.- Gerald Peters Gallery presents Inside Out, a new series of paintings, drawings, and works in clay by contemporary artist Lorraine Shemesh. This is the artist’s first solo exhibition with Gerald Peters Gallery, New York, and is the first time that she has exhibited her clay vessels alongside her two-dimensional works.

Shemesh investigates and abstracts the human form. She has a distinctive approach to contemporary realism that marries figure-based painting with abstract expressionist concerns. Shemesh is drawn to the water as a subject because of the myriad of patterns that are in constant flux. Her Painted Pool Series has evolved over time from a visual dialogue between action occurring above and below the water line, an 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. This new body of work - consisting of 7 large oil paintings and a series of drawings - is engaged in an exploration and development of various repeated patterns in order to create movement, rhythm, and harmony.

In addition to her rigorous painting practice, she also works in clay using a Japanese process called, Neriage, a physically demanding technique that employs various colored clay bodies to create three dimensional patterns on vessel forms. These pieces are, in part, inspired by layered rock formations in nature whose various colored stripes are the earth’s memory and witness of the changes in the environment that have occurred over time. 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 in Inside Out.

Shemesh was represented exclusively by legendary New York art dealer and avid collector Allan Stone from 1981 to 2011 and had 8 solo exhibitions in the eponymous gallery. Her work has been in solo and group shows at galleries and museums across the country, including the National Academy of Design in New York, the Frye Art Museum in Seattle, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and can be found in many public collections including the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, Ohio; the Boise Art Museum in Idaho; the DeCordova Museum in Lincoln, Massachusetts; the Museum of the City of New York; and the Rhode Island School of Design Museum in Providence, Rhode Island. Her work has been reproduced and reviewed in The New Yorker, Art in America, The New York Times, and Harpers Magazine among others. She received an M.F.A. in painting from the Tyler School of Art and her B.F.A. Magna Cum Laude from Boston University and was elected to the National Academy of Design in 2005. Shemesh lives and works in New York City.

Inside Out is on view from May 7th through June 3rd and is accompanied by a full color, hardcover catalog with an essay by Steven Nash, founding Director of the Nasher Sculpture Center, Director Emeritus of the Palm Springs Art Museum and newly appointed Director of the Richard Diebenkorn Foundation.

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