Erica Child Prud'homme at Blue Mountain

by Robert Sievert

    Erica Child Prud'homme

In the classical world there was a mythological image of a woman turning into a tree. Her torso became the trunk as her limbs reached out in a frantic gesture, and her face was frozen into a wooden mask. This was the fate of a woman too experienced in the ways of the flesh. One can interpret this as "becoming wooden or frozen." It is an interesting image.

There are equally interesting ideas and questions posed by the Paintings of Erica Prud'homme in her recent exhibit at the Blue Mountain Gallery. The human anatomy is laid out as landscape. Hills and ridges become breasts and hips mostly in attitudes of deep repose. Are these bizarre natural formations (such as Anthony's Nose, a mountain in the Hudson Valley that is clearly a nose)? Or is it a series of transformations: Women who have committed some egregious transgression and have ended up as hills and islands? Poetic metamorphosis is the heart of these images.

There are other metamorphosis in this exhibit; a pair of hands are seen as flowerlike plant forms. While the imagery is provocative, never does it overstep the boundaries of probable reality.

All this contained in a seamless painterly style of representation. There is something really admirable in the controlled use of light and color. A nautral light pervades this work and the artist uses it to portray mood and clarity.

One can't help but being totally taken in by the consistency and style of the work.


    Copyright © 2002 Robert Sievert