Rare is the contemporary artist who can make the “personal” universal. Liz Shepherd is one of these special artists. She experienced agonies with Covid-19: her contraction of the virus, loss of creative time, total isolation and a non-Thanksgiving. Her brush with death, loneliness and confusion is translated into a positive vision at the Boston Sculptors Gallery, one all viewers may relate to.
Shepherd is an artist who has spent decades exploring many media, and is in total control of her craft. She confidently mixes soft-media papier-mâché with the unyielding hardness of welded steel. A lost Thanksgiving meal is her symbol for the devastation wrought by the virus. Three empty black-wire chairs surround a non-existent table. An exquisitely crafted paper pitcher, a serving bowl and ladle float in the air, Empty placemats hang nearby.
On a wall close-by, 16 colorful silk-screened, two-dimensional sofas and chairs appear to emerge from the flat surface. Waiting for people to plunk down and “watch the game.” But where are the guests? Family, friends and cooing babies? Not here. Covid-caused loneliness is everywhere in this constellation of loving domestic symbols.
(“Liz Shepherd: Ungathered” remains on view (along with “Ed Andrews: Transplant” through October 31 at Boston Sculptors Gallery, 486 Harrison Ave., Boston, Massachusetts. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Sunday from noon-5 p.m. and by appointment. An artists’ reception will take place on Saturday, October 16 from 4-6 p.m. For more information, call (617) 482-7781 or visit bostonsculptors.com.)