new-york

Martha Meyer Erlebacher

Fischbach Gallery

While Martha Mayer Erlebacher has certainly studied the history of art, and has looked hard at the rich tradition of allegorical painting, she is neither a neo-Classicist nor a rigid adherent of any theory of contemporary narrative painting. Instead she is guided in her treatment of form and content by a firm belief that, as she has said on occasion, “the human experience is the proper subject matter of art.”

Erlebacher, unlike some of her contemporaries, allows herself to vary her technique. Compared with her meticulous applications of a few years ago, the brushwork employed here was relatively loose. Realism has functioned as a dynamic mode of description for her, throughout, but where linear hardness and sharply focused details were typical of the figures of the mid ’80s, those shown here were distinguished by softer modeling and more fluently handled surfaces.

In works like The Garden

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the January 1994 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.