Shelley Reed | Biography

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Reed borrows visual fragments from predominantly seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Northern European art, citing the artists of these works like a dutiful scholar. She copies and recopies carefully chosen subjects – a bird or horse here, an architectural flourish there – from reproductions of historical paintings. She remains faithful to the figure’s original form but dramatically intensifies the viewer’s experience of it through bold changes in scene and scale. She also exclusively paints with a pared down palette of black and white. The result is uniquely theatrical, demonstrating the timeless emotional associations we, as observers, graft, and re-graft on to images of the natural world, and invites reflection on the present as a powerful reconfiguration of the past.