Today from our partners at Art Practical we bring you Mary Anne Kluth‘s review of Sylvia Fein: Surreal Nature at Krowswork Gallery in Oakland, California. Kluth notes, “A true pleasure of the exhibition, and a mark of its success as a retrospective, is the opportunity to trace developing threads, such as a particular symbol, subject matter, or technique, through various works over long periods of time…the paintings in Surreal Nature offer a comprehensive portrait of Fein and her life as an artist.” This article was originally published on February 10, 2014.
Sylvia Fein: Surreal Nature, a retrospective of paintings at Krowswork in Oakland, spans a boggling seventy years, showcasing the artist’s lifelong relationship with her chosen medium, egg tempera. Presented more like a museum exhibition than a commercial show, Surreal Nature includes a professionally produced video, A Delicious Battle, directed and edited by Robert Beier, that introduces nonagenarian Fein, her artwork, and her home, garden, and studio, creating an accessible context for the numerous works on display. The exhibition takes advantage of the divided spaces at Krowswork to group Fein’s works thematically and by rough time periods, letting viewers draw connections between the biographical information in the documentary and Fein’s episodic painting oeuvre.