philadelphia

Sarah McEneaney

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Sarah McEneaney’s paintings are enlivened by the contradietory effects produced when romantic sensibility meets realist painting. At once obsessively observant and psychologically loaded, her autobiographical works celebrate both the power of the imagination and the particulars of McEneaney’s own life. The paintings’ apparent subjects include landscapes viewed on recent trips, but her richest investigations mine the familiar spaces of her home and studio. She pictures herself alone, often lying down, asleep or reading, or just staring at the ceiling. Though her dog or cat sometimes appear, these images portray solitude in a way that subtly distinguishes being alone from being lonely. In Pink and Blue, 1995, McEneaney depicts herself in a pink tub under bluish water, blowing bubbles, as if to echo Thoreau, that master of solitude, who said “I am no more lonely than the loon in the pond that

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