Honoré Sharrer

Honoré Desmond Sharrer (July 12, 1920 – April 17, 2009); American artist. First received public acclaim in 1950 for her painting Tribute to the American Working People, a 5-image polyptych conceived in the form of a Renaissance altarpiece, except that its central figure is a factory worker and not a saint. Flanking this central figure are smaller scenes of ordinary people—at a picnic, in a parlor, on a farm and in the schoolroom. Meticulously painted in oil on composition board in a style and color palette reminiscent of the Flemish masters, the finished work is more than 6 feet long and 3 feet high and took her 5 years to complete. It was the subject of a 2007 retrospective at the Smithsonian Institution and is part of the permanent collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

... her work Workers and Paintings (1943) was included in the legendary 1946 "Fourteen Americans" show at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, curated by Dorothy Canning Miller, and featuring a selection of up and coming artists including Robert Motherwell, Isamu Noguchi, and Saul Steinberg....

Sharrer and her painting Man at Fountain were featured in the March 20, 1950 issue of Life Magazine, in a cover story featuring "Nineteen Young American Artists."

Unlike many of her New York contemporaries including Motherwell, Pollock and Rothko, Sharrer did not take the turn to abstract expressionism and continued to paint in a figurative and academic style, although the content of her work was often mordantly witty. The term Magic Realism... is often used to describe her later work.

...Despite her meticulous technique, luminous color palette, and eye for telling detail reminiscent of Flemish painters, she was a modernist in sensibility and subject.

...This combination of careful observation, juxtaposition, fantastical elements, often nude woman portrayed in scenes with clothed men, triumphal arches are all rendered in a...
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First Collected by

Suzan Hamer


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