by Michael Rutherford
|Flesher, 2014, oil and dye on canvas, 50 x 44 inches|
|Untitled, 2014, oil and dye on canvas, 90 x 72 inches|
|Everything That Flows, 2014, oil on canvas, 56 x 46 inches|
|View From Behind, 2014, oil on canvas, 56 x 50 inches|
|Touch, 2014, oil on canvas, 56 x 50 inches|
|Sarah Faux, in her studio.|
There's been much said about how abstraction is very prevalent in contemporary painting these days, but there are those who are producing some wonderful work in a unique figurative vein as well, with precendence found in artists such as George McNeil and Amy Sillman. The paintings of Sarah Faux are an example of the type of painterly figuration that I've been excited about lately.
Is it abstraction dropping hints at reality, or a merging of those sensibilities that cause me to step back and consider the psychology at play in her work? Anyway, Faux's paintings are some of the most slippery figurative pieces to be found. It's as though each one is a snapshot of a dream sequence--fugitive images in a fugue state that trigger thoughts about the humanity of the matter they so loosely depict.
Her most complex piece to date is Untitled, 2014, which depicts arms, legs and a partial torso, upside-down with each limb seemingly painted separately and distinctly from one another as if cordoned off during the painting process. It's that abstracted patchwork of paint that induces my gaze to flow around the composition in a circular, clockwise path, stopping at each tract of territory along the way in and out of my view of the image. It's paintings like this that keep me looking at Faux's work and waiting for whatever comes next.
all images courtesy of the artist