Monday, October 10, 2005

Artist of the Week (10/10/05)

Sarah Woodfine is a lovely person, but a rather fussy artist. I note this with admiration, mind you (although her degree of perfectionism was rather tough to appreciate while we were installing her work at an exhibition I curated in London---one on a ridiculously tight schedule during a transit strike, no less). Still, without that mindset, Sarah would not be able to create her stunning pencil on paper works that have become all the rage lately. To call her drawings "detailed" is a laughable understatement.

This image to the right is from a much earlier series than for what she was awarded the presitigous
Jerwood Drawing Prize for 2004, but I have a similar piece in my collection and love these disturbing memories-via-creepy-toys-of-childhood pieces. The one I have is similar to the piece below, only smaller (this imagery is too terrifying to have one that's larger than me):

Sarah Woodfine, Teddy (A new home for Harvey), 2000, pencil on paper, 160 x 110 cm (image from website for Danielle Arnaud Contemporary Art).

Represented by Danielle Arnaud Contemporary Art in South London, Sarah began exploring architectural spaces in her drawings a few years ago. From churches in Norway, to imaginary barns in Wyoming, her buildings are mysterious, lonely, and haunting. Trained as a sculptor, Sarah has very keen instincts about presenting space in emotional terms. Here's an image from a series of flattened cabins:

Sarah Woodfine, Hall 2, 2002, pencil on paper, 41 x 57 cm (image from

Since then, Sarah has begun to explore space and landscape within dioramas of two dimesional drawings. Here's an earlier one where she was still working with buildings:

Sarah Woodfine, Chapel, 2003, pencil on paper and perspex box, 23 x 30 x 23 cm (image from website for Danielle Arnaud Contemporary Art).

But as mysterious as that piece is, it can't hold a candle to the sinister-looking landscapes she's been boxing in lately. Sarah's knack for finding that one, slightly off, but not obvious detail that taps into your subconscious and scares the bejesus out of you is what makes each piece irresistible but harrowing all the same. Here's one of her latest pieces available online, followed by a few details:

Sarah Woodfine, Untitled, 2004, pencil on paper and perspex box, 23 x 30.5 x 23 cm (all images from website for Danielle Arnaud Contemporary Art).


Anonymous crionna said...

Interesting. BTW, I snuck out for a bit to check out the DeYoung on members opening and it looks pretty fabulous. Too bad the patina set in so fast though.

10/10/2005 08:57:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

Glad you liked the DeYoung, C. I was curious because there was a warning on another blog to stay away yesterday, due to "fiasco" crowd control.

see link for images.

10/10/2005 09:56:00 PM  
Blogger la.dauphine said...

I love the work. The 'cut-out' piece really brings back memories of childhood. I don't find them terrifying, though... even the evil creatures have a baby-doll quality to them.

10/11/2005 08:13:00 AM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

baby-doll yes, but don't-look-in-the-basement-style creepy baby-doll, for me at least.

10/11/2005 09:18:00 AM  
Anonymous crionna said...

Well, Sunday was the first day open and a beautiful one in SF. We got there at about 1 yesterday. Not nearly so many people. We were able to walk through the entire museum quite easily. I think that most people were very surprised at the number of "members".

One interesting (or frustrating, depending on your view) was that not all the identification cards had been placed yet. So, some of it was like a live art history test.

10/11/2005 10:29:00 AM  
Anonymous Paul said...

I didn't find her a nice person at all.

5/19/2008 08:29:00 AM  

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