Each body of work that Kerri Scharlin has made depicts a group of women. In her early work from the 1990’s, the members of each group were versions of herself. More recently, she paints communities of women who are intertwined with her life in New York. Scharlin’s work from the 1990’s looks at the self as such by proffering a role reversal between artist and subject, casting herself as the protagonist in the artworks of others. For these projects she solicited professional observers— including police sketch artists, illustrators and journalists — to construct her portrait in their industry-standard style, exploring the role of representation in the creation of identity. In her latest painting series, “In Her Studio,” Scharlin is creating an archive of practicing women artist whose work she supports. Always engaged with portraiture, her work has gone from an examination of the self as configured through the gaze of others, to envisioning painting as an invitation to friendship.
Scharlin curated the exhibition “The Big Nothing or Le Presque Rien,” at The New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York and her work has been shown internationally, including solo exhibitions at Postmasters, Wooster Gardens, Jose Freire, and Kustera Tilton Gallery in New York; and Schaper Sundberg Galleri, Stockholm. She was included in a three-person exhibition at David Zwirner, New York and other group shows include The Aldrich Museum of Art, Connecticut; The Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia; Galerie Herve Mikaeloff, Paris; and Momenta, 303 Gallery, and American Fine Arts, Co. in New York.
Scharlin's work has appeared in numerous international publications including The New York Times, Artforum, Frieze, Art in America, Vogue, Artnet.com, New York Magazine, The Village Voice, Flash Art, and Purple.