Kerry Brooks, April 2013

Opening April 5, 5-8 pm


Kerry Brooks

About the Exhibit

Dark Matter accounts for a large unknown portion of our universe and is the perfect title for Robert Lange Studios’ upcoming exhibit exploring personal mysteries in the artist Kerry Brooks’ life.

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Dark Matter accounts for a large unknown portion of our universe and is the perfect title for Robert Lange Studios’ upcoming exhibit exploring personal mysteries in the artist Kerry Brooks’ life. Kerry Brooks contemporary narratives in colored pencil and gouache are intimate, sensitive and often macabre. Brooks will be at the April 5 event from 5–8PM, which is open to the public. The work will hang until April 26 and can be seen daily from 11-5PM.

Brooks says of her upcoming show, “Most interesting perhaps, is the “reverse” form of drawing. That is, starting with a black ground and pulling the whites out of it to create form as opposed to typical drawing technique where one would start with a light ground and make marks and shading to create the illusion of form. It’s an approach that seems suitable to its subject matter, which is a bit moody and enigmatic. The greys and whites act as a sort of illumination to the darker subjects of isolation, abandonment, confusion, sadness, or conflict.”


Questions & Answers from the Artist:

What inspires you?

I’m often inspired by places I have seen, especially those which present questions and mystery. For example, buildings that have been abandoned, like those in the drawings of the empty house, and the windowless institutional building in the woods. They compel the questions: Who lived there? Why did they leave? What occurred that caused people to neglect and abandon places that were once lively, perhaps even points of pride?

I’m also inspired by psychology. I like the idea of creating portraits that reveal a glimpse into the state of mind of the model– her feelings, mood, and internal conflicts. Such portraits also present mysteries of sorts. Hopefully they prompt the viewer to question what has happened or what is about to happen.


What are three words that describe both you and your work?

introspective, sombre, enigmatic


When you look around your studio what do you see?

Usually a cup of coffee, art from fellow art school students, queens rooftops and sky


What project are you currently working on?

a drawing of a model sprawled out on a bed with her hair streaming out over her head


What was the impelling force for the current subject matter and show?

It was the drive to experiment with drawing on a larger scale and with limiting myself to black, white, and variations of grey. I also wanted to return to some older, moodier subject matter from photo shoots in Illinois that I had postponed while using color media as I felt they would be better suited to a monochromatic approach.


What do you hope people walk away from the show talking about?

I hope they walk away with surprise at the level of detail and intensity of mood and feeling that can be achieved through the use of a limited palette, and ideally, with lots of questions!


What do you think both visual and conceptually your strengths are as an artist?

Visually, I think my greatest strength is as a draftswoman, that is, my attention to drawing both form and textures. Conceptually, I would like to believe I have some ability as a storyteller. My hope is that my work moves beyond visual representation to narrative.


You work in many mediums, for this series you’ve chosen shades of colored pencil and gauche on black. Why?

I was interested in reversing the typical mode of drawing, which is to make marks on a white or light-colored ground. Instead, I wanted to start with darkness and pull out the lights–bring the highlights out of the paper rather than building up the shading.

The white gauche allows me to add in the whitest whites that are not achievable with colored pencil on a black ground.


How do you choose your models?

Almost all of my models are friends or family members. I find beauty in their individuality rather than in a set idea of what constitutes beauty.


When do you call a piece finished?

That’s difficult…when I feel fairly confident that a piece can no longer be improved by any additions I would make to it. I wish I had a formula for when this occurs, but it’s mostly just a “shot in the dark!”

Exhibit Images

Opening Night



Robert Lange Studios