Sargent’s Daughters is pleased to present Power Play, Sarah Slappey’s first solo exhibition with the gallery. Comprised of oil paintings on canvas and paper, Slappey addresses the female form in a palette of muted pinks, purples and slashes of vibrant red.
Slappey’s forms are both seductive and grotesque- an embrace of femininity and a rejection of its limits that addresses how it feels to be in a female body. The undulating and twisting forms push our notions of the “acceptable” female form past the delicate, reigned-in curves of the traditional nude women of Western art history. Slappey’s bodies heave, push, squeeze, fold, tickle, and melt together. Any grace in the forms is undercut with subtle violence or aggression.
Mixed in with the muscular elements are objects traditionally associated with women: pearls, lipsticks, tampon strings. Slappey nods to her Southern roots while she simultaneously grinds it underfoot.
Slappey confronts the notion that women’s bodies are “too much” and pushes through our discomfort, allowing the the bodies to become overwhelming, pressing up against the viewer until we cannot look away. Sometimes “too much” is actually just enough.
Sarah Slappey (b. 1984, Columbia, South Carolina) is a painter based in Brooklyn. Slappey received her MFA from Hunter College in 2016. She has exhibited at Maria Bernheim Gallery, Zurich, Switzerland; Kostyal Gallery, London, UK; and Andrew Edlin Gallery, New York, NY. Slappey’s work has been reviewed by The New Yorker, The Art Newspaper, ArtSpace, and Flash Art. She is represented by Sargent’s Daughters in New York and Maria Bernheim Gallery, Switzerland.