Carol Saft, Couch Time, acrylic on canvas, 2021
Carol Saft: The Cynnie Paintings
November 6 - December 2, 2023
Opening Reception: Friday, November 3, 6-8pm, Fiendish Plots
Open Saturdays and Sunday 1-4pm, or by appointment
The Cynnie Paintings are Carol Saft's intimate, multi-dimensional paintings that portray quotidian details of domestic life with her wife inside their apartment. Begun during the Covid lockdown, Saft and her wife spent their days and nights alone together in their New York City apartment. There is both a sense of isolation and delicious privacy in the settings, which rarely venture outside the four walls. The depictions range from humorous to tender to awkward as the subject relaxes serenely in a bath or stands, exposed half-naked, in the kitchen. Saft questions both what is revealed and what is unknowable in a relationship with another person.
Saft's focus on the details of the simultaneous absurdity and fundamental importance of humanity was evident in the small-scale figurative bronze sculptures she showed at Lesley Heller Gallery in 2019. The human figures, in direct and humble postures, expressed a universal, open-ended message about human vulnerability.
The writer Jane Harris has written that Saft's series of videos, My Brother Todd, "blur the line between portraiture and social document" and this thread runs through all of Saft's work. She is concerned with what it means to be human in our post industrial, post-Post-Modern world.
Speaking of Saft’s recent solo show at Canada gallery in Tribeca, fellow artist Katherine Bradford has said, “I am particularly pleased that this will be a show by a woman about her female lover. The Cynnie Paintings show Carol’s muse, partner and much beloved wife. We see and feel a real closeness, a real body and real evidence of a life being lived together in 2022. There’s plenty of bed in these paintings which leaves us to think of sex but it’s an implied intimacy rather than one that is spelled out. I feel the Lesbian relationship is often left out of our stories or told luridly in a coded language. Here is a straight forward visual presentation of two mature women who are married and happy.”