Fingery Eyes
NARS Foundation, Brooklyn
Oct 6 – November 1, 2023

The Gynandromorph, oil on panel, 46 x 59 in, 2023

While they often draw directly from ‘nature’, Sarah Davidson’s works diffract distinctions between embodied self and other through a queer ecological lens: critters and space collapse into one another, suggesting a permeable web. Both the eye and the mind work towards the known--animals, plants, brush marks, lines--but are caught in a space of undoing. A question floats among the forms: who’s seeing who, and how?

Fingery Eyes references a term coined by writer Eva Hayward as a means through which species perceive each other via sensuous manifesting; “a queer reading of how making sense and sensual meaning are produced through determinable and permeable species boundaries.”

In this new series of paintings and drawings, the intricate linework of scientific illustration tangles with uncanny biomorphic form. Meshes of hatching reveal glimpses into a jumble of images, and eyes peer out from within. The works weave together observational drawing and an abstract vocabulary of shapes to evoke bodies (human and otherwise) and suggest an ambiguous interiority. In the world of these images, looking and other forms of sensing disintegrate into each other, revealing something porous, strange and seductive.

The painting The Gynandromorph seems caught in the process of transformation; goopy oil stick melts into thinly rendered linework, and flora and fauna waver in and out of perception, while a central blob either emerges from or is digested by a mesh-like web of red-brown. To the upper right a plant growing through the sidewalk outside the artist's studio is rendered in delicate black; elsewhere recognizable lily pads, clover, and insects peek out from within the fray. The image reveals itself to be composed of equal parts local observation and poetic license. The edges of the panel waver slightly, like a leaf or a sheet of paper, a plein air study with a life of its own.

Sarah Davidson (they/them, b.1989, Canada) lives and works in New York, NY. Recent solo exhibitions include NARS Foundation, Brooklyn, NY (2023), Wil Aballe Art Projects, Vancouver, Canada (2022), Feuilleton, Los Angeles, CA (2021), and Erin Stump Projects, Toronto, Canada (2019). Recent group exhibitions include NADA NY, Wil Aballe Art Projects, New York, NY (2023), PASSE-PARTOUT, Luxembourg Institute for Artistic Research, New York, NY (2023), BLOOMDOOMROOM, the plumb, Toronto, Canada (2021), Deep Vision, Cassandra Cassandra, Toronto, Canada (2020), SUPER, NATURAL, Unit 17, Vancouver, Canada (2019) and many more. Their work is included in the collections of the Royal Bank of Canada and Burnaby Art Gallery, Burnaby, Canada. They received an MFA from the University of Guelph (2019), and a BFA from Emily Carr University of Art & Design (2015).

Harry, oil on panel, 6 x 8.5, 2023

Drop In, watercolour, ink, pencil crayon and pastel on paper, mounted on dibond, 53.5 x 65 in, 2022

Bent Branch, oil on panel, 35 x 46.5 in, 2023

Morpho Blue, oil on panel, 32.25 x 45 in, 2023

The Gynandromorph, oil on panel, 46 x 59 in, 2023


untitled, oil on panel, 8.5 x 12, 2023

untitled, oil on panel, 8.5 x 12, 2023

Humans Are Like Lichens, watercolour, ink, pencil crayon and pastel on paper, mounted on dibond, 53 x 65 in, 2022