MARCH 6 - APRIL 5, 2008
Cavin-Morris Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of new work by Swiss artist Christine Sefolosha. With this latest group of paintings and drawings, the artist continues her explorations of the dark and light sides of primeval numinous imagery. It would be entirely too easy and facile to look at the intense artworks of Christine Sefolosha and merely associate them with neo-expressionism or Paleolithic rock art. That there are these synchronisms is important however. What makes more sense is to focus on the possible intentionality of rock art, how its artists related to what was then, and often still is, a hostile universe. It is only in the last decade or so that we are learning to read the languages painted on those walls.
By using tar and basic pigments, Sefolosha carries forward the primacy of the medium infusing her work with angst and glory of the contemporary mind-frame. She is not out of time; but rather recognizes that the basic human references of amulet, shelter, fear, violence, aging, joy, mystery and rough beauty that have never gone away. They are as open to interpretation and evocation as they ever were. In an age of cool political correctness, she is heated and suffused with dream, myth and the Underworld.
Part of the totemic mythos is to illustrate beings that live in the three planes of shamanic existence: under earth and under water, on the earth, and in the trees and the sky. The shaman utilizes the creatures of all three planes as a mode of psychic travel. They use birds for flight, travel in spirit boats or they ride visionary horses into the heavens. The trick for the artist concerned with these ideas is to avoid the trite and the New Age. Sefolosha doesn’t bypass the dark side; she is unafraid of death’s shadows and her images have gone through trials of fire and pain.
For these reasons also divine monsters occur, blending of fish, fowl and four legged creatures, each empowered to traverse the universe by its own contained metamorphosing. The end result is insight, and new ways of looking outward. We survive as we hybridize. We choose to stand out or mimetically blend in. These drawings and paintings are translations by a very restless visionary spirit.