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.