Posted on April 12, 2012 by School of Art
Sarah Conaway received her MFA in Photography from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2001. The aesthetic of Conaway’s images is indebted to the visual history of art, from the playful psychologies of Surrealists such as Man Ray, to the structured spirituality of Modernists like Constantin Brancusi. Her use of this visual language is at once irreverent and an homage. In discussing her work, Conaway references ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arrangement, in which balance, order, and impermanence are paramount. The transitory nature of Conaway’s subjects references the instability of life and the passage of time, yet her work is not invested in Barthes’ concept of the petit mort. Instead, Conaway is interested in evoking and harnessing an intangible kinetic energy through still images that are pregnant with motivation.
Conaway’s work has been featured in solo and group exhibitions in the US and abroad, including Opposition is Essential, Julia Friedman Gallery, New York (solo); New Symmetrical Works, Julia Friedman Gallery, Chicago (solo); Post Rose: Artists In and Out of Hazard Park, Galerie Christian Nagel, Berlin; I Am Eyebeam, Gallery 400, Chicago; and When Darkness Falls, Midway Gallery of Contemporary Art, Minneapolis. She has also curated numerous exhibitions under the auspices of Destroyer, Inc. in Los Angeles and Chicago. Conaway lives and works in Los Angeles.