Kerry Simmons, December 2018

December 7, 5-8pm


Kerry Simmons

About the Exhibit

This show is about the various meanings of the word “wild”- wild, as in natural, undomesticated, but also wild places and things that are not governable or controlled..

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Contemporary Egg Tempra Paintings by Kerry Simmons
December 7  – December 21, 2018
Opening Reception: December 7, 5:00-8:00 PM


“Wild” the title for Robert Lange Studios’ upcoming exhibit exploring all things ungoverned by the artist Kerry Simmons.  Simmons’ contemporary narratives in primarilay egg tempera are intimate, sensitive and often macabre. Simmons will be at the December 7 event from 5–8PM, which is open to the public. The work will hang until December 21 and can be seen daily from 11-5PM.

Simmons says of her upcoming show, “This show is about the various meanings of the word “wild”- wild, as in natural, undomesticated, but also wild places and things that are not governable or controlled.”

Simmons found inspiration for this show from the writer Henry David Thoreau, from Walden: Or, Life in the Woods. She said, “I like what Thoreau says about the “tonic of wildness” in the following quote, “We need the tonic of wildness. At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.”


During the time that she was creating this body of work, Simmons traveled to New Hampshire to learn egg tempera painting with Koo Schadler. While there, she stayed at a home deep in the woods and encountered wild animals along the road on her daily drive to the studio and back. “There were wild turkeys and a very bold porcupine. I returned to my then home and studio in concrete midtown Manhattan bent on using my new tempera skills and fixated on the theme of wildness – perhaps as an antidote to the man made environment with all its steely surfaces and hard edges.”


In addition to this interest in egg tempera, initially sparked by Andrew Wyeth, the last few years Simmons had been very taken with Flemish and Northern Renaissance painting as well.  She said, “I wanted to see if I could recreate some of the unearthly glow and detail often found in this style of painting. For all their formality, I find a unexpectedly wild quality in many of the paintings of this period, with their finely wrought textures of flowers, jewels, gold, stone, fur and hair, and their beasts and saints cavorting with regular folk.”


Simmons has shown at Robert Lange Studios for over a decade and had solo shows in oil, colored pencil, and pastel.  “Although I can’t seem to resist trying every medium I can get my hands on, my subject matter has been fairly consistent. This show features more portraits and figures of women, some friends and family. I think that the human presence in images can expand meaning, offering both the external imagery of the ever fascinating face and body but also inviting the viewer into the interior life of the subject. What are they thinking, what is their identity, intentions, story?” 


Simmons in looking at certain pieces from the show said, “This show is about the various meanings of the word “wild”- wild, as in natural, undomesticated, but also wild places and things that are not governable or controlled. It’s an examination of the wildness of an abandoned house, my native midwestern prairie, the exuberant wildness of summer when life is in full swing, wild materials, fur, and hair and animal bones, wild behaviour, roaring into the air, and the violence associated with a piñata. One of the pieces that I am most proud of is an image of my sister wearing a dog piñata head and the sort of barely there gingham dress that goes with hot summer days. It’s the story of the wild play of bashing a piñata to pieces and then donning its severed head as an act of faux barbarism. Also focusing on wildness, but of a different sort is “Stage,” which features my niece standing in an abandoned house, literally on the stage of the empty ruin, and figuratively in an important stage in her life as she transitions into adolescence. Both fearless and awkward she stands in her water shoes, socks, and flaming swimsuit. It’s a moment where she is more wild than domesticated in the sense that she has yet to succumb to the painful self consciousness of the teenage years.”


The exhibition will hang through most of December 2018, and a festive reception, featuring music, wine, and hors d’oeuvres, is open to the public on December 7, 5:00-8:00 PM, in conjunction with the First Friday Art Walk.

Exhibit Images

Opening Night



Robert Lange Studios