boston

Mary Sherwood

Zoe Gallery

Mary Sherwood’s lushly painted fantasy landscapes are nostalgic and lyrical pastiches of paintings from the 16th through the 19th century. Images are borrowed from art history and reformulated into reflections on nature and culture. Nine of the ten oil paintings, all from 1987–88, are divided into two series, entitled “Birds of Fiction” and “Myths of Progress.” The former are large landscapes on canvas that integrate imaginary allusions to Baroque and American Romantic art, and the latter are landscapes painted on wood with square insets of details from Dutch and Flemish paintings. In this uneven yet intriguing exhibition, Sherwood evoked an aura of mystery and irony while exploring themes of the passage of time. The mood of her recreated worlds is often unsettling. The paintings are laden with symbols of decay and death which often overpower the borrowed Arcadian settings.

The “Birds of

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