Alma Haertlein

The Psychopathology of Everyday Life
Tue Jun 18, 1991 - Sat Aug 24, 1991

Artist Statement

The work in this show is inspired mainly by 19th-century European novelists — Wilkie Collins, George Eliot, Ann Radcliffe, Henry James, Emile Zola, and Leo Tolstoi — though the events I portray are usually based on real-life experiences, either mine or other people’s. I think of my work as an unfolding story of the stereotyped male and female roles idealized by TV shows like “Dallas” and by actual middle-class American families such as my own. What interests me are the trade-offs and compromises where men and women use each other to get what they want, trade-offs that could range from prostitution to dinner on the table at 7 in exchange for a Neiman-Marcus credit card. My individual canvasses take as their subject awkward moments of intense emotion which I try to juxtapose by combining them into diptychs and triptychs. These are then meant to form a single visual experience. I’ve always been interested in horticulture and gardening; in between larger projects, I also do small flower paintings and landscapes.