DescriptionFROM THE ESTATE OF DR. EDMUND P. PILLSBURY
SHARON KOPRIVA (American, b. 1948)
Mixed media on canvas
61 x 48 inches (154.9 x 121.9 cm)
Dutch Phillips & Co. Fine Art, Dallas, September 1994
Sharon Kopriva's art held special fascination for Ted Pillsbury: he loved its conflation of humor and the macabre. He collected the many genres of her work avidly, from the pure paintings, to the painted paper mache figures of priests and nuns and bishops and chaplains, to the mixed media reliefs and sculptures imbedded with imagery of bats, bones, relics and references to the martyrdom of saints and sinners.
At Pillsbury Peters Fine Art, Ted mounted a solo show for Sharon ("Body and Spirit: The Imagist Art of Sharon Kopriva," September 7 - October 20, 2001) on the heels of an exhibition at The Menil Collection in Houston. For the Pillsbury Peters show, Ted wrote a sensitive and quite personal meditation on the meaning of her art in the introduction to the accompanying catalogue. He noted: "She makes us think about life itself. More importantly, she forces us to consider how we deal with the inevitability of death. Yes she does so with a gentleness and sensitivity that leave us reassured about the goodness of humanity...One does not need to be a member of the Catholic faith...to derive an important lesson of this cherished ritual [confession, self-forgiveness]. Her work illuminates what we as humans do to achieve self-acceptance in the face of death. Her work also reminds us of the transitory quality of the roles that we all play..."
In his concluding paragraph, Ted wrote: "For whom, and from what, does Sharon Kopriva derive her inspiration? While a reflection of her own upbringing in a traditional Catholic family in Houston, her work owes as much to her response to ancient pre-Columbian Nazca culture which she encountered on a trop to Peru in 1982. Based on the experience of sacred burial sites strewn with bones and museums showcasing endless rows of mummified bodies, she became preoccupied with the deeply human tradition of memento mori--the remembrance of death--in general and the role of faith and redemption of sins in the Catholic doctrine upon which she had been raised, in particular...Influences are prevalent but they are subsumed in her overriding interest in the spiritual qualities she imbues in each piece to make it an enduing symbol of the mystery and wonder of life itself."
Condition report available upon request.
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