Gretchen Scherer Interiors Tell Stories

Monya Rowe Gallery is pleased to announce a solo exhibition of new paintings by Gretchen Scherer titled Sometimes, Light. This is the artists’ second solo exhibition at Monya Rowe Gallery. Scherer’s new suite of paintings are largely based on historical homes in England that have been converted into museums and are now open to the public. Exploring homes, rather than traditional museum, which a deliberate decision by the artist: “With the homes there are stories of the people who lived there. Since we have all been spending a lot more time at home, it felt comfortable to work with this subject matter.”

Scherer’s paintings of interiors are reimagined depictions of museum collections painstakingly represented in miniature form. Each painting features masterworks displayed Salon-style reminiscent of 18th century exhibitions. However, Scherer doesn’t just replicate each euros. Her idiosyncratic depictions of paintings, sculptures and furniture give each artwork a new life, and even a sense of humor. After thoroughly researching a museum’s online collection, Scherer picks her favorite illustrations and “screens” them in a carefully selected room of the museum.

The room itself may also be altered. Playing the role of curator, Scherer lovingly scrutinizes a museum of collection and space by envisioning it a new one. In Sir John Soane Museum Library and Dining Room (2021-22) a desk is cluttered with drawings, books, and a quill. The original dining room is removed.The writing materials are Sir John Soane’s and the open book is a page from one of his many sketchbooks. There are more signs of life in this body of work than Scherer’s previous paintings.

However, each painting still remains an empty room full of people. There is a felt absence in the work given the undertone of themes, such as loss, attachment and solitude.

Within this painting, Scherer self-referentially included an image of one of her previous paintings titled The Hidden Cabinets by Sir John Soane.

As Scherer examined each collection online, she began to think about the previous owners of the homes and the process of making and displaying illustrations. As the title of the exhibition suggests, light subtly appears throughout the works. Light is shining in the rooms from doorways, windows, or skylights. One is left to wonder who is in the other room or who may have left the room, but it is also a metaphor for the conception of an idea, a symbol of creativity.

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