untitled, 2006, ink on paper

         untitled, 2006, ink on paper

In "Lady Lazarus" Sylvia Plath asks us, "Do I terrify? - The nose,

the eye pits, the full set of teeth?" Theresa Pfarr's women and

children - shy, disdainful, bone-tired, contorted, and defiantly  

vulnerable - gaze directly at us with the same imperative: Do I

terrify? Is this what you wanted? This exaggerated swagger and

hip-cock, these shoulders like knives, my neck thrown back like

this, my wrists bound by invisible lines? 


The first impression given by these figures is that they are fashion

plates, a body in pieces, a dressed window, but look closely.  It

is hard to do this, to withstand the judgement in these postures

and faces painted for the stage, the marketplace, war. 


Every viewer becomes their maker, because these figures are the

products of our desire.  They emerge from gorgeous static-color

fields both intuitive and precise- and are arrested at just that

moment before they return to nothingness, their natural state.  For

these are no longer women and they know it; they are all

impossibilities and they all look like they are in danger.  Their

sorrow is ethereal and in the end more beautiful than their

surfaces of longing. 


"What is this, behind this veil, is it ugly, is it beautiful?

It is shimmering, has it breasts, has it edges?

I am sure it is unique, I am sure it is just what I want.......

If you only knew how the veils were killing my days."

                                        -from "A Birthday Present", Sylvia Plath


- Leigh Anne Couch





Theresa Pfarr is an artist and Adjunct Professor of Art at

The College of New Jersey. Recently her work has been

included in exhibitions at Ada Gallery, Richmond, VA, the

McGlothlin Center for the Arts in Emory, Virginia, Angela

Meleca Gallery, Columbus, OH, and Modern arts Midtown

in Omaha,NE.  Grants and awards include a New Jersey

State Arts Council Grant, a Pollock-Krasner Grant, a

Roswell A-I-R Grant, a Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for

the Arts Residency, a Virginia Center for the Arts Fellowship,

a Jentel Residency and a Puffin Foundation Grant.  Her work

is included in the Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art

and many private collections.