Greg Masters Review

Stephanie Brody-Lederman

(Rastovski, March 11–29, 1987)

Stephanie Brody-Lederman’s very colorful pictograms are created from a range of images complemented with words and phrases integrated into the composition. Their starting point might be the picture cards we saw as children, but her embellishments are highly charged explorations that stretch and far exceed the boundaries of that format.
It’s as if her words were hints to a narrative we begin to interpret on reacting to the images. The visuals and text become two vocabularies that merge in these playful syntax salads. They’re like tarot cards of a personal journalism. We can recognize the personal references; memories and reactions are evoked with images that serve as specific symbols for the vague moment. The clutter of context is stripped away and the essential elements stand out in dream space—ladders against a brick wall, three cherries, a dog, ax, a semaphore-like emblem, rowboats.
All are awash in her beautifully worked surfaces. Her handling of paint is where she proves herself to be more than an illustrator of the subconscious. Her colors are deep and reach the peak of radiance. The arrangement enhances their primary boldness. She uses whites and blacks to explore the colder recesses from which starker tones are harnessed. By bleaching an image to its natural peculiarities, she relocates us to a ghost dimension where everything must now be reassessed without its former sentimental associations.
She provides the graffiti for what we might be thinking or what she’d like us to consider. She leads us into a vulnerable zone where we’re given both the emblems and the primal subtitles of a personal reminiscence. Each composition is a panel from the artist’s emotional education. But, in the transference, the lesson has been charged with her spirit of fun and gaiety. The collage effects, fabled phrases, bold arrangements, worked textures and immediacy and pleasure of her colors illumine the gallery rooms and treat the viewer to a series of work that should motivate billboards.

Greg Masters

New York City

All content © Copyright 2024 by Stephanie Brody-Lederman.
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