Sarah McEneaney at Tibor De Nagy

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Diagnosis/Surgery Cut, 2005, egg tempera on wood, by Sarah McEneaney. Click to see it bigger.

I missed last night’s opening in New York but have to get up to the show. McEneaney’s autobiographical paintings are aArtblog faves as is our girl Sarah. The gallery’s website has images from the show but not this beauty — the postcard image — which I scanned. The exhibit’s called Recent History and shows Sarah going through the past year, a hard one involving her bout with breast cancer. But Sarah is an empowered lady and somehow here, as with all her works, she exercises a god-like distancing from herself that allows the viewer and the artist to sit back and contemplate issues, think an occasional funny thought even, and not drown in a puddle of unhappiness.

My favorite work apart from this beauty (above) is on the gallery’s website. It shows the artist standing in front of a red curtain — ala Charles Wilson Peale showing you his museum. And in the background — instead of taxidermied wildlife — Sarah has placed specimens from the internal life of the body — cells, tissues, etc. Very excellent art historical comparison and very amazing image of a woman educating herself and the viewer into some understanding of what it is to be on display and yet be in charge of it all.

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