Glimmer and Luster, 2020. Oil on canvas, 24 x 60 inches.
Sarah Gutwirth writes of her work: I have an unquiet mind, uncomfortably aware of my consciousness. My art making is related to that awareness of my mind as a filter for experience, but equally as an entity which shapes experience.
I love science in the way that a non-mathematical person loves science, which is to say in a taxonomic and descriptive way. I love the 18th century version, with its categories and collections, and the earlier version dating back to the Greeks, with its emphasis on the visual correlations and webs of meaning, which have internal consistency but are based on ideas now deemed deeply unscientific. I see parallels to modern scientific understanding of systems like ecosystems, various forms of mutualism, and our own bodies, consisting of colonies of microorganisms.
Over the last ten years I have two ongoing bodies of imagery which are related. To me they have twinned themes of taxonomies or collections on the one hand, and connections within the natural world. Some look like still life as they are collections of things with some underlying taxonomic or categorical order. Some use the convention of landscape in order to explore the underlying relationships between living things.
My latest body of work I call Correspondances and it builds on a theme of related images, here usually derived directly from nature, from decorative arts filtering nature or from painted depictions of nature all juxtaposed in triptych form.
In all my work I play on history of art and on classical genres and styles but always subverting, never performing still life or landscape or abstraction in a pure non-ironic way.