Celia Gerard’s mixed-media works hang in a balance of solidity and transparency, sculpture and drawing.
The eight compositions on display at the Sears-Peyton Gallery are a continuation of a body of work. “The work started when I was studying at the [New York] Studio School,” Gerard told The Daily Beast Thursday night at the opening of her new show, Lost at Sea. “I was working in low relief… and I realized that I wasn’t able to go as deep [into the space] as I wanted to,” she said, mentioning her formal training as a sculptor. “So I moved to drawing out of necessity.”
The first drawings were just black and white and appeared at Sears-Peyton in 2011. “I was interested in what I could do with only a few materials and a limited palette,” Gerard said, “but it wasn’t until a couple of years ago that color started seeping in.”
Even though colors have now permeated her works, it still has a lot to do with depth and form. “It wasn’t as much about color as it was about pushing the drawing along and getting deeper into the space that I was looking for,” she said. “Still, I wanted to keep a very limited palette.”
Even so, the colors of the geometric forms are very muted. But that is one of the key components that give these drawings their sculptural elements. The subtlety of the colors, along with defined outlines, create an illusion of solidity and transparency as the basic shapes—triangles and squares—rendered gradually fade into one another and deeper into space. “I was trained as a sculptor,” said Gerard, who teaches at the Pratt Institute and School of Visual Arts in New York. “So I see these as sculptural works in a way. I’m carving into space, moving deeper into space.”