Text: Alec Coiro
All Images Courtesy of Tennis Elbow
Are you concerned that there’s nothing left to say in painting in terms of form? Maybe you are, but Karen Lederer is not, to coin a phrase, “bothered.” The paintings on exhibit in Journal Gallery’s Tennis Elbow invite you to look closely and discover the crafty textures she has incorporated in her paintings: colored pencil and markers are used in subtle yet fitting ways.
The group of paintings presented weave a narrative drawn from Lederer’s life: she appears in the paintings wearing a signature sweater, preparing for and going to rallies; her canine companion also makes frequent appearances as does her bar of chocolate. The narrative is a personal one, a glimpse into her life. These narrative elements compliment the formal elements with a low-key effortless brilliance: the story the paintings tell follow her second vocation as a printmaker and a creator of posters for the rallies that she depicts. And this printmaking vocation in turn informs with style of her paintings.
Her dog as well as other animals (many of which are fish), combined with her colorful palette and geometric renderings make the paintings wonderfully fun. And my assistant reviewer will attest that Lederer’s paintings are also beloved by young children.
As with all Tennis Elbow shows, this one is fleeting. It remains up until March 30th.