Erika Mahr

Screens and Shrouds

May 3 – June 21, 2014



Charcoal on Black Paper

51 x 50 inches



Charcoal on Black Paper

60 x 39.5 inches



Charcoal on Black Paper

30 x 20 inches

Press Release

Launch F18 is delighted to present "Screens and Shrouds," an exhibition of new work by New York City based artist Erika Mahr. The exhibition opens on Saturday, May 3 and continues through Saturday, June 21, 2014. This will be the second solo exhibition of the artist’s work with the gallery.

In "Screens and Shrouds," Mahr continues her remarkable execution of abstract repetition. In this case, she uses charcoal on black paper to execute her signature system-oriented aesthetic. Like a quiet rhythm, these patterned shrouds fluidly mask the mystery of the unseen structure or space beneath. 

The exhibition contains remarkable workmanship and technique, representing a vigorous practice on the part of Mahr, and resulting in a minimal, eloquent outcome. The drawings are guided throughout a multitude of historical references, bridging gaps between pixilated digital matter and the spatial quality of Caravaggio paintings, or the atmospheric nature of Rembrandt. 

The grid-like charcoal rendering recedes into a vast space like some transparent landscape, while falling into a closer abyss in the foreground, drawing the eye down with it. Separated between these two voids, the imagery leaves only the capacity for a sense of mortality, or comparison to the undulating systemic calculations of our digital era. Just as the connectivity of the web and the digital platform allows remote users to be a part of shared global experience, the topography of Mahr’s drawings hints at the expanse of the greater world but restricts the viewer to an isolated state. Like a screen, Mahr’s compositions shift and sway, rise and decline, letting the almost molecular forms reshape and evolve with each interaction.

Erika Mahr received an M.F.A. from Hunter College and her B.F.A from the University of Florida. Previous exhibitions include "Geometric Narratives" at Launch F18 in New York City, "New Work by Erika Mahr" at The Susan B. Hilles Gallery in New Haven, CT and "Drawing in the Expanded Field" at Clara Hatton Gallery at Colorado State University. Erika lives and works in Queens, NY.