Known for her richly colored paintings built with layers of monochromatic enamel, Shepherd here charts new territory in her decades-long exploration of perspectival space. Chief among Shepherd’s concerns in these works is their relationship to their environs; the various reflective surfaces establish a spatial discourse across the panel, the viewer, and the gallery space.
Surveillance presents two bodies of work conceived and executed in tandem. The first group, on display in the main gallery, incorporates chromatic trapezoids that cut through the picture plane. These shapes—which the artist calls “surrogate paintings”—function as architectonic premises, delineating volume and the space between them. Shepherd defines these forms through difference in textures, rather than with her signature fine lines. In many of these works, she interrupts the glossy quality of the enamel, sanding large areas down to produce velvety fields that show pentimenti of color and faint lines of obliterated brushstrokes. These shifts in color and finish complicate how distinct areas of the painting reflect their surroundings and ultimately create a push-pull. Being situationally reactive to light and movement, the paintings take on sculptural characteristics in their constant change.
On view in the smaller gallery, a second body of work recalls the daguerreotype’s image-making process. Shepherd begins these works by leaning paintings in her studio at varied angles, allowing the paintings’ environments to be reflected within their compositions. The artist then photographs the painting and using the same enamel paint, screen prints this image onto a panel. Born out of this referential loop, these works evince a dialogue with memory and the act of surveillance.