SARAH BEDFORD and TRACY MILLER
November 19, 2016 - January 28, 2017
Mrs. is pleased to announce, More, with Sarah Bedford and Tracy Miller. This exhibition of drawing and painting was born out of a daily study to create one india ink on paper still life. Primarily an exercise, the two agreed that this simple drawing challenge quickly became a surprisingly compelling activity. Ultimately, this dialog brought new and useful concepts to each of their independent studio practices, while grounding each artist further into the traditional art form of still lifes.
The inherent beauty of still life is steeped in a rich history, both as an aesthetic practice and a visceral reminder of the passage of time. Firmly located in the interior sphere, a realm once endemic to women, still lifes consecrate a primal symbolism as domesticated fetish objects - a sensuous reminder of the passage from bloom to decay. Known for her luscious and indulgent brightly colored works, Tracy Miller’s joyful buffets and delicious mounds transform her canvases into manic delectables. Nathan Kernan wrote in 2004, “Miller’s paintings teem with as much activity and information as it seems they can bear, deliberately flirting with surfeit. Painterly abstraction is at least as integral to these works as their still-life components are, and their dizzying visual generosity underlines the symbiotic relationship between food and paint, and the inherently sustaining nature of both.” Sarah Bedford’s works incorporate a corresponding abstraction of floral collage, layering with snakeskin and glitter fabric, but with a contrasting formal geometric relationship to line and form. Referencing Arthur Dove, Gee’s Bend and Marsden Hartley, Bedford’s alchemical and diagrammatic works continue the lineage of still life painting.
Both Bedford and Miller’s works are a marriage of desire and one’s personal intuition. Strange and murky decay mixed with quirky formalism - there are little rules here. Together these works evolve spontaneously, thick, sprayed, collaged, painted, or squeezed, convey a freedom of exploration in the materiality of these works. With the additive manner of both practices, More takes form through the lens of a feminist conversation, summoning a new narrative behind this traditional art form.
Born and raised in Roundup Montana, Sarah Bedford received a BFA from the Cooper Union and attended the Skowhegan Residency Program. A recipient of the National Academy of Design painting award as well as a Lower East Side Printshop artist fellowship, she has shown regularly with Bellwether Gallery and most recently exhibiting in Paris. This will be her first exhibition with Mrs. Bedford lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.
Painter Tracy Miller was born in Storm Lake, Iowa, and studied at the University of Iowa, the University of California at Berkeley and Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Her large-scale still life paintings of food have been included in nine solo shows and more than 50 group shows throughout the USA. In the fall of 2013 her work was the subject of a solo exhibition at the American University Museum and was accompanied by a catalog. Miller has received numerous awards including a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, three Pollock-Krasner Awards, an Elizabeth Foundation Award, a Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation Grant and an American Academy of Arts and Letters purchase prize. This will be her first exhibition with the gallery. Miller lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.