April 16, 2021 Taos, New Mexico

The Harwood Museum of Art

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Thursday, June 1 - Sunday, June 25, 2017

Self.i.e, the Works of Sarah Stolar

Gallery: Studio 238
"Janet" by Sarah Stolar, oil on canvas"Ruby" by Sarah Stolar, oil on canvas
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Sarah Stolar's expressive, large-scale images of women capture internal, psychological aspects that express qualities of power, vulnerability, and alter-egos. The stories told raise issues of femininity and societal expectations of women, investigating the contradictions that arise from these suppositions, and how they manifest in and influence the psyche.


The women in the Self.i.e. series are immediately present and visually dominant; they cannot be ignored. Their gaze is focused directly on the viewer, communicating a sense of authority and reclamation of the self. This reclaiming of power is carried through the process of creating these works, which begins with Stolar selecting an image provided by the subject. The sources for these paintings are all “selfie” photographs taken using a webcam or phone camera. Stolar asks her sitters to take these images while alone and uninterrupted in an effort to capture an internal defining quality. Many images are exchanged before the final selection, and this dialog between the artist and subject allows the women to maintain a certain level of control over how they are depicted. The women in the series are artists and activists. They have in some way inspired profound creative and personal growth within the artist, but more importantly, they share their inherent gifts in a knowing effort to evoke positive social change. Stolar considers these women important and deserving of being solidified as historic, mythic, and iconic figures in the canon of monumental oil painting. The title of series—Self.i.e—references “the self” as well as the abbreviation for id est, Latin for “that is.”

Artist Biography:
Sarah Stolar is an interdisciplinary artist who lives in the Santa Fe, New Mexico. Working from a strong psychological and female perspective, the breadth of her work includes painting, drawing, multi-media installation, film, video and performance art. She is the daughter of accomplished multi-media artist and educator Merlene Schain, and a descendant of 19th-century German master painter Adolph von Menzel. She grew up in an art studio/school environment, received a BFA in Painting from the Art Academy of Cincinnati, and an MFA in New Genres from the San Francisco Art Institute. Her work has exhibited in Uruguay, Cuba, Italy, Austria, Finland, and across the United States. She is currently represented by David Anthony Fine Art in Taos and Pop Gallery in Santa Fe. A committed educator for over fifteen years, Sarah serves on multiple boards and academic committees, and is currently the Chairperson of the Art Department at the University of New Mexico - Taos.

Pictured: Janet, oil on canvas