Intricate oil paintings come to life in Debra Clem’s ‘Surfaces’

Source: Insider Louisville
January 12, 2018

Debra Clem’s “Surfaces” exhibit features nine paintings. | Courtesy of Swanson Contemporary
Debra Clem’s “Surfaces” exhibit features nine paintings. | Courtesy of Swanson Contemporary

Nine intricately detailed, large-scale oil paintings hang on the walls of Swanson Contemporary Gallery, and each has a story to tell. While some are obvious portraits of strong women who populate the Louisville community, others are more abstract observations of places and things.

“Self-Portrait” by Debra Clem
The tie between them all, says artist Debra Clem, has to do with her interest in and exploration of surfaces.

Hence the title of the exhibition, “Surfaces,” which opens Friday at the NuLu gallery.

Clem, a professor of fine arts at Indiana University Southeast, has been working on the pieces in this show since 2015, and her impeccable attention to detail can be seen in each.

Five of the nine paintings are portraits of women, including a self-portrait, and the subjects ooze confidence and strength.

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