Comforter, a show of colorful new work by SF arts stalwart Emily Sevier, is on view for one final week at the Curiosity Shoppe in the Mission District. If you’re a fine arts fan and haven’t seen it – you should.
According to the artist, “It’s pretty. It’s the best thing you’ve ever seen. You’ll see gnomes.” Spoiler alert: you won’t see gnomes. But you will see a set of meticulously hand-crafted quilted orbs, a gianormous quilt made specifically for the space, and paintings in which a woman attempts to hide under layers of now familiar-looking quilts and comforters.
The naked female figures whose faces are hidden by the quilts seem key to understanding the works, which play with notions of personal comfort zones. Sevier says the work is “about finding comfort in a kind of masking. Almost like a little kid’s desire to hide.” The title of the show also raises the issue of women’s bodies themselves being sources of comfort or emotional spaces in which to hide.
For those familiar with the genre, Sevier’s work references the Color Field paintings made by American artists like Kenneth Noland, Frank Stella and Larry Poons in the 1950s — abstract works primarily featuring bright, radiant, uninflected colors. Sevier’s work departs from that genre in two significant ways. Where their work rejected a hyperemotional approach to art, one of the central themes of Comforter is the emotional attachment that people form to objects — including women’s bodies. And while the Color Field movement was largely made up of men, Sevier’s work is made by and squarely focused on the female form.
For those simply interested in seeing an impressive body of new work by a local artist, the show is worth a trip to the Shoppe. All pieces are reasonably priced, and on display until April 4. The Curiosity Shoppe is located at 855 Valencia Street. Open Tues – Sat 12 – 7, Sunday 12 – 6. Closed on Mondays.