Joseph Karoly Essay

Stephanie Brody-Lederman

OK Harris-Sept 11-October 16, 2004

Brody-Lederman is neither primitive nor faux naïve, but a fox in sheep’s disguise. Her schematic images and anti-calligraphic texts are a sophisticated, emotive short-hand mediated by a self-conscious sensibility. Each painting shows the process of excavation, and rebuilding to the point where a resonant, emotional tension is achieved.

There is a strong cinematic element to the paintings, often intuitively grouped to create serendipitous narrative associations. One thinks of Eric Rohmer and Francois Truffaut– annotators of the haplessness of the intellect to overcome behavioral flaws. Brody-Lederman shares with them a contemplation of the temporal vicissitudes of experience turned memory. In the painting “Fueled By What Remains,” the theme is one of loss, and the task of those who remain is to somehow absorb the unimaginable. Disasters echo each other, resonating in time as both private and collective trauma, ultimately bearable through the mollifying insistence of the mundane. We persevere. An overriding wit, humor and touch of Eros fuel Brody-Lederman’s complex emotional core, celebrating engagement rather than retreat from experience.

Joseph Karoly 9/04

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