Friday, May 15, 2009

Honoré Sharrer

Nursery Rhyme, 1971

Honoré Sharrer, a noted American artist of the 1940s and afterward whose bold, witty, incisive paintings documented the daily experiences of ordinary working people, died in Washington on April 17. She was 88 and had lived in Charlottesville, Va., for many years.

The cause was complications of dementia, her son, Adam Zagorin, said. Ms. Sharrer’s family did not announce the death until last week.

In an era in which many of her contemporaries had begun to explore Abstract Expressionism, Ms. Sharrer remained committed to figurative art as a powerful vehicle for social criticism. Known for their jewel-like colors and painstaking attention to detail, her paintings were purposely flat, hyperrealistic and strongly narrative in their depiction of everyday life. Her visual style seemed to embrace the old masters and the Ashcan school in equal measure; in later years, it also incorporated a dash of deliberate strangeness that some critics described as magic realism.

from the New York Times obituary

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