Shelley Reed, up close


PRESS RELEASE: Shelley Reed, up close, May 19 - Jun 18, 2016

Shelley Reed, up close
May 19 – Jun 18, 2016

Up Close and Cultural: Shelley Reed at Sears-Peyton Gallery

Exhibition Title: Shelley Reed: up close

Exhibition Dates: May 19 – June 18, 2016 

Opening Reception: May 19, 2016, 6 – 8 p.m.


New York, NY— Shelley Reed’s installation of virtuosic oil paintings on paper at Sears-Peyton Gallery transports viewers to a world both familiar and fantastic. These monochrome still lifes and animal paintings evoke the frisson of wild creatures brought near even as they reference the art historical past.


Reed paints from 17th century Northern European paintings and drawings, in which artists used animals to create allegorical morality plays. The stubborn ox and the lustful hare warned of immoderation, while the chattering parrot symbolized the dangers of repeating gossip. In the current exhibition, Reed has excerpted passages of those works, then isolated and rendered them in black oil paint on stark white backgrounds. A glassy-eyed ram and an exotic Taiwan Blue Magpie intermix with still lifes and botanicals, showcasing Reed’s ability to render the natural world in all its majesty and also its cultural appropriations by historical artists.


As these varied and exquisite renderings climb the walls around the viewer, they hover between art historical traditions and the tactile immediacy of the animals and domestic scenes that inspired 17th century artists. A rabbit’s fur and the fuzzy flesh of a peach each seem real enough to touch, inviting viewers to step into a crystalline mirage of wildness and domesticity at encompassing scale and close range.


Shelley Reed: up close is on view May 19 – June 18, 2016 at Sears-Peyton Gallery’s Chelsea location at 210 Eleventh Avenue. There is an evening reception May 19 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. Sears-Peyton Gallery is open 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Saturdays. For more information or to request further press images, please contact the gallery at