Gaela Erwin: Mother

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Gaela Erwin: Mother
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On View: July 15 - Aug. 13

Opening Reception: July 15, 6 -8 p.m.

Gaela Erwin’s work documents a life of self-reflection. Primarily composed in oil or pastel, her art navigates the space between psychoanalysis and art therapy. Her earliest work in this vein was dominated by self-portraiture. However, “Mother” marks a transformation in her practice from self-analysis into explorations of grief, caretaking, and family dynamics. “Mother” chronicles the last days of the artist’s mother, an event that served as a pivot to both family portraiture and to painting and drawing from photography. These very personal images, often composed in the style or format of neoclassical portraiture or saintly icons, fold the life of the artist into the history of art. In so doing, they transform the deeply personal and specific into the timeless and universal.

Conceived in collaboration with the Speed Art Museum, “Mother” offers a point of entry into the exhibition “Gaela Erwin: Reframing the Past,” on view at the Speed from July 30 until October 30. “Mother” features work that preceded “Reframing the Past," along with photographic studies and documentation of Erwin’s practice. Altogether, the Cressman exhibition stands as both a memorial and a study in art, care, and grief.
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