Ethan Patrick Sherman at Savery Gallery

The Form Review is a simple attempt to increase dialogue within art journalism and highlight the subjectivity of a traditional exhibition review.  Artists/curators/responsible parties of an exhibition are invited to respond to five short prompts.  In turn, a representative of the St.Claire views the exhibition and independently responds to the same five prompts.  Both sets of “form answers” are published in tandem on the St.Claire website. To participate drop us a line at


(IMAGE: Installation view of In Every Direction. CREDIT: Courtesy of Savery Gallery)


form_review_eye1 Responses by Ethan Patrick Sherman, artist

 1. What is hidden in this exhibition?  What is in plain sight?

Perhaps it is the specific sources for individual works that are hidden. While each piece is titled, and certain understanding can be drawn from that, it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between metaphor, representation and symbolism.

There are several questions in plain sight.


2. Who would be this exhibition’s parents?  What might it’s children look like?

I think the parents could be Pierre Bonnard and Sam Moyer. Their children would represent a range of temperaments. One may be quiet, brooding and logical. Another may be arrogant, boisterous and foolhardy. There would certainly be a diligent neat freak too.


3. Describe one moment in this exhibition.

As you step into the room the back left corner of the gallery displays two darker, ominous paintings. These works prompt the viewer to shift perspectives in order to fully appreciate the surfaces and intricacies within the paintings. While gaining a more intimate knowledge of the work it is difficult to separate oneself from the surface.


4. This exhibition answers/asks the following question:

Does our memory conform to natural laws of light? Is hindsight 20/20?


5. You should message this exhibition if…

you have ever felt the urge to turn a car around in order to take a photograph of something on the side of the road, but instead kept on driving.


form_review_eye2Responses by Matt Kalasky, The St.Claire

1. What is hidden in this exhibition?  What is in plain sight?

These paintings remind me of the photographic process. One where light, and the blockage of light, create shape. One where the evidence of unseen light is captured on a surface and drawn through a spectrum of colors. I imagine someone turning on all the lights in the photography darkroom, exposing all the imperfect prints: the results of sun flares, over and underexposure, and the curious spectral effects of the unintended atmosphere.


2. Who would be this exhibition’s parents?  What might it’s children look like?

It’s parents studied color field abstraction. On the weekends they would pray (or perhaps do yoga) at the Rothko Church. It’s children have a hard time appreciating nature. Why watch the changing sky when you can watch a changing sky streaming on-demand in HD?


3. Describe one moment in this exhibition.

While sitting in the small gallery a tiny warehouse mouse found his way into the room* It snuffled and skittled its way along the wall searching for the things mice search for. What was the mouse thinking? What would it make of these paintings? Maybe she was transported to a field at dusk with the colors, hues and gradients simmering all around her. Maybe she saw reflections of her emotions in the saturated depths of pigment. Maybe she thought she imagined a temple of nature in a denuded brick castle. Maybe she thought nothing because she was a mouse.

*Just a note: Mice are everywhere and it’s ok. They are in the art galleries you visit; the restaurants where you eat; there is a mouse seven feet away from you right now.


4. This exhibition answers/asks the following question:

The questions here seem eternal, large and internal. Like huge personal cumulus clouds. So expansive and ephemeral that I have a hard time getting them to stick to any experiences outside of myself.


5.  You should message this exhibition if…

beauty is a critical condition for you.



Ethan Patrick Sherman: In Every Direction

January 8 – 31, 2015

Savery Gallery
319 N. 11 St.
Philadelphia, PA 19107

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