Coinciding with Merry Karnowsky gallery’s “Parallel Universe” (covered here) is Lezley Saar’s “Monad”. For her latext exhibition, Saar focuses on the metaphysical reality, mixed with her signature Victorian subjects. Saar referred to philosopher Gottfried Leibniz’s definition of “Monad” for her show’s concept: “an unextended, indivisible and indestructible entity that is the basic or ultimate constituent of the universe, and a microcosm of it.” Proudly an artist of mixed ethnicity, Saar’s colorful women can be linked to people in her own life, many of whom were in attendance at Saturday’s opening. So, while her theme is grand, her personal touches make it feel familiar.
Lezley Saar with her art on opening night.
Throughout her mixed media paintings, Victorian women are seen traveling the galaxy, sometimes with a companion. Their expressions are melancholy and aloof to the Surreal musings around them. Instead of stars, Saar’z skies are twinkling with magnified human cells and eyes. When asked about her choice of motifs, Saar emphasized her desire to look within herself, and interpret the metaphysical through her own eyes. What she discovered is like a scientific dance. We are individual beings made up of a group of cells, but we also unite to form single groups, and that pattern continues throughout the cosmos. With this in mind, “Monad” may serve to remind us that none of us are really alone.