Washington, DC

Cheryl Laemmle

National Museum of Women in the Arts

This exhibition of 17 large paintings by New York artist Cheryl Laemmle was a retrospective of her work from the ’80s. The exhibition had a cohesiveness about it that can be attributed to the artist’s simple, illusionistic style and her continued obsession with extremely personal autobiographical themes—childhood memories, family deaths, struggles for identity In the earliest works in the exhibition, Laemmle presents these themes through traditional classical symbols, such as a pomegranate (symbol of everlasting life) or a moth (symbol of reincarnation). Such symbols no longer have a common currency; they no longer “read” as they once did in support of narrative. Because of this, these symbols often remain mute and incomprehensible, implying precise meanings that do not readily unfold. Further, Laemmle combines animate and inanimate objects with simple illusionistic space and abstract

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