SHARON KATZ

Mixed media on encyclopedia pages (acrylic), artist frame with glass (oil paint).


In this series I'm applying animation techniques to framed works on paper because I've been wondering how these two mediums address time differently. (There's more on this in Motion Made Visible.)


I was originally attracted to encyclopedia pages because of their assumed authority and the quaint way in which many of the facts are no longer factual. It's as if this source of information - which was once hugely valuable - is now redundant yet remains an essential ingredient of the contemporary. The glass enclosure contributes a sense of archive, and the transparency and layering generates a sense of the old and the fresh in juxtaposition. In addition painting on a glass layer reminds me of animation cels.


The text and scrunched encyclopedia pages supply a textured surface to build on. The line and paint are like my animated marks and phrases piled on top of each other and sometimes wandering off the glass and onto the frame itself.


I use alpha mattes in animation to act as windows into events. In these artworks I'm adding alpha mattes (aka silhouette masks) to a still image. It creates a tension for me between the expectation of change within the alpha matte's transparent opening and the static nature of a painting. I have that sense in Giacomo Balla's The Hand of the Violinist (1912) where the artist uses a window resembling a suit jacket or necktie in silhouette to frame the illusion of reverbrating violin strings.


In String Theory the concept of parallel universes is depicted by a red ball above the glass and a tennis player (yearning to engage with it) below the glass. They're in a perpetual state of suspended animation because they can never meet. And yet they somehow also define each other's presence. (The work is a nod to Marcel Duchamp's Large Glass, which suspends motion and speaks to unrequited desire in a mechanical age.)



  • Bouquet of Facts

  • Is That You Talking?

  • Important Family Facts

  • The Old Country

  • Atlantik

  • Baseball & Lace

  • Our History Is In Here Somewhere

  • My Pink Tutu

  • Sharpening Ingrid

  • Superheroes

  • How To Ride A Bicycle

  • Wolves On Toe

  • Birdhouse

  • Razor Comb

  • String Theory

  • Unsalted Butter

  • Yes That's A Copyright Symbol Between Its Legs

  • Lead Shot and Tea