Gerri Davis, Sacrifice of Abraham, 2013
Gerry Davis thinks about point of view: yours, hers and the characters' in her paintings. In her Sacrifice of Abraham (an interpretation of the Sacrifice of Isaac in the Bible), a colossal biblical father towers over our body, wielding a shiny knife that reflects two youthful blue eyes. The composition cubistically pictures Abraham positioning himself twice. He too has his doubts about this ultimate act of faith (Kierkegaard's Fear and Trembling). The terrified expression in the eyes, Isaac's and ours, registers disbelief too. Is this how it feels to lose trust in an authority figure? Davis insists on Isaac's point of view, forcing us to imagine the victim's perspective, in the Bible and in real life.
Gerri Davis, Annunciation, 2012
Equally disquieting is Davis' version of the Annunciation, when divine intervention once more strikes terror into the heart of mortal beings. Again, we witness an ignorant youth caught up in God's plan. In this case, we are the Archangel Gabriel hovering above as the shadows of our wings fall around the body of the Virgin who lies in bed, transfixed in her state of anxiety. Awash in eerie colors and weird reflections, Davis' point of view focuses on the vulnerability of a teenage girl, who seems genuinely scared and mystified. Should she believe this Apparition?
Both Isaac in the Sacrifice of Abraham and Mary in Annunciation seem to have "problems with authority," the title of a book that features Davis' work and an interview with writer Lawrence Weschler. It's a great source for delving further into a creative mind that perceives darkness where most of us only see the light.
Gerris Davis, Blind Spot, 2012
"Gerri Davis: 2013," bridge gallery, 98 Orchard Street, Lower Eastside, NYC, through April 14.
Problems with Authority: Gerri Davis in Conversation with Lawrence Weschler in her studio, January 21, 2013 (New York: bridge gallery, 2013).
New York Arts Exchange offers a tour of Chelsea galleries on Wednesday, April 10th. We will meet at IPCNY, 208 West 26th Street, 5th floor, at 1 pm. Fee: $60 per tour.
Our Spring Tour schedule is listed on our home page: www.nyarts-exchange.com
TGIS (Thank God it's Spring),
Beth New York
aka Beth Gersh-Nesic, Ph.D.
New York Arts Exchange