McEneaney, the Benchmark

Libby and I ran into one of our favorite artists, Sarah McEneaney, Friday night at the opening of two of our favorite artists, Anne Seidman and Susan Hagen at Schmidt-Dean Gallery, one of our favorite galleries. McEneaney was bubbling with surprise because earlier that day she saw her name mentioned in a Roberta Smith review of Danica Phelps‘show at LFL Gallery.
Phelps makes autobiographical art and so does McEneaney. And apparently Roberta Smith said that if Phelps ever did “x” she’d be making “wonderfully autobiographical art like that of Sarah McEneaney.”

(image is McEneaney’s painting in the Operation RAW exhibit at the Icebox.)

We thought that was a historic moment for Sarah because she’s now passed from being a notable artist to a benchmark artist and in fact the standard against which autobiographical art should be measured. Yeah!


Here’s the Times article’s link. (user:, password: lrrfartblog)
And here’s the pertinent paragraph:

What would happen if Ms. Phelps were to swerve – if, for example, her rows of color and her images broke ranks and mingled? (With luck, perhaps something akin to the wonderfully autobiographical paintings of Sarah McEneaney.) Such a merger might make Ms. Phelps’s work more ordinary for a while, but it also might lead someplace where there are greater visual challenges and rewards.

The Phelps show is up til Oct. 1.