Sarah Ball

Sarah Ball

British
b. 1965
/

Overview

Sarah Ball’s meticulously rendered portraits explore themes of gender and identity. Demonstrating an acute sensitivity to the psyche of her subjects, she emphasises physical characteristics that define how we outwardly portray ourselves to the world.

Sarah Ball’s meticulously rendered portraits explore themes of gender and identity. Demonstrating an acute sensitivity to the psyche of her subjects, she emphasises physical characteristics that define how we outwardly portray ourselves to the world.

Ball uses source material such as newspaper cuttings, archival photographs and social media to inform her portraits. Often depicting people who celebrate self-expression and contest traditional binary norms, Ball highlights physiognomy, hairstyles, clothes, jewellery and make-up that reveal the idiosyncrasies of her anonymous, often unknowing sitters. Set against flat planes of colour and confined within closely cropped compositions, the artist lends the people within her work a surreal, timeless quality by denying the viewer any form of narrative about their identity.

Stephen Friedman Gallery will host its first exhibition by Ball in January 2022. The gallery presented a solo show of new works by the artist at Frieze New York in May 2021. This was the first major presentation of Ball’s work since the gallery announced representation in November 2020. In this body of paintings Ball revisited some of her previous subjects by realising their portraits on a larger scale, thus allowing the artist to further explore what she describes as the “physicality of painting.”

Sarah Ball

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