Tony Scherman: The Cream of Denmark

Tony Scherman

November 7, 2013 - January 4, 2014

Winston Wächter Fine Art, New York is pleased to announce an exhibition of new work by painter Tony Scherman. Renowned for his encaustic technique, Scherman uses thick layers of colored wax to sculpt and shape his textural canvases. The structured appearance and visible brushwork of his pieces give them an animalistic immediacy. His subjects, often celebrities and historical figures, seem trapped in the artist’s gaze, their features magnified, the edges of their faces disappearing into shadow or out of the frame.

In his newest series, Scherman has moved from the biographical into the realm of fictional portraiture. The Cream of Denmark reveals the protagonists of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, as seen from the title-character’s point of view. Like snapshots taken for a scrapbook, the portraits are given simple, explanatory titles: “Mummy,” “My New Father,” “My Girlfriend.” Scherman’s signature shadowy style lends itself well to the mental decline and brooding, distrustful mindset of literature’s favorite antihero. Scherman’s visual take on what he refers to as the “play that starts bad and gets worse,” draws heavily from the artist’s own life experiences. It shares with viewers an emotional intimacy that touches on themes of love, betrayal, and depression. The perspective of each work reveals as much as the subjects do themselves, and leaves them open to a multitude of possible interpretations. The characters are neither good nor evil, their beauty and their flaws layered together in broad, sweeping strokes. The world that Scherman depicts seems to follow Hamlet’s mandate to “represent reality, holding a mirror up to virtue, to vice, and to the spirit of the times.”

Tony Scherman was born in Toronto, Canada in 1950 and received an M.A. from the Royal College of Art in London in 1974. His works have been shown in exhibitions, museums, and private collections across North America, Europe, and Asia.

For further information please contact Amanda Snyder at 212 255 2718.