Sarah Gutwirth

Sarah Gutwirth


    20 E Herman St, Philadelphia, PA 19144


    Artist's Biography

    Sarah Gutwirth received her BFA and BA in painting in 1978 from a joint program of Reed College and the Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland OR. Her MFA in painting is from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn in 1985. In 2017 she was nominated for the prestigious Joan Mitchell Prize for Painting. She has received grants from Kentucky Arts Council, Kentucky Foundation for Women, Murray State University and United University Professions at SUNY. She has had 20 one and two person exhibits over the last thirty-one years and has had work in numerous group shows. Her work is in several collections, including the People’s Education Press in Beijing. She held three tenure track teaching positions, receiving tenure at two. She retired in 2017 as Full Professor of Painting Emerita at Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky. She has travelled widely and lived in France. In 2017 she moved to Philadelphia where she was born and raised.

    Artist's Statement

    I am currently revisiting an idea I have had for a long time concerning the way forms in nature are incorporated into human-made objects, both in paintings and in decorative objects (this is an insight early collectors revealed in their cabinets). I call these works 'Correspondences', and while they are based on visual overlap, I like the way they play with different levels of representation and seem to create new narrative spaces and visual reverberations. This layering of representation connects them back to my Meta Painting series from 2012-15, as does the explicit borrowing from historical painting.

    This body of work also relates to my interest in collection, as the images are drawn from my own collection of details of works I have seen and photos I have taken in museums and out in the world. I am combining representations of things from nature, things from decorative arts and things from fine art images, to show how there is overlap between these languages of representation. My work over the last five years in Taxonomies and Collections, organizes imagery and content around themes of collecting and categorizing the natural world based on a networks or webs of connection. My new work riffs on the internal conversation between objects and images within these collections in a slightly different vein. Instead of categorizing things based on their meaning, it categorizes based on a more primitive taxonomy of visual likeness or relationship. This recalls some of the earliest taxonomies of pre-modern science, where things are alike if they appear alike. In these paintings the meaning is less specific to category, more allusive and intuitive, seeking correspondences arising out of rhythms of color, light and line.

    This recent work is something of a departure while retaining a deep congruity. It seeks to reframe our way of representing and interpreting the world through our sensuous and intellectual understanding of its form: a different taxonomy.

    Selected Exhibitions

    Taxonomies and Collections, Courthouse Gallery, Jackson, TN

    Sabbatical Show, Foyer Gallery, Murray State University, Murray, KY

    Metapaintings, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY

    Sabbatical Show, Foyer Gallery, Murray State University, Murray, KY

    Open Studio, Slanted Floor Studio, Santa Monica, CA

    Paintings and Drawings, Bethel College Gallery, Newton, KS

    Two Person Show, Capitol Arts Gallery, Bowling Green, KY

    A Drawing Exhibition, two person, Tippy Stern, Fine Art Gallery, Charleston, SC

    Mixture, CFEVA Members’Exhibit, CFEVA Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

    Drawn from Nature, Audubon Center, Mill Grove, PA

    Frabjous, Openings, St Paul the Apostle Church, NY, NY
    Joel Carreiro, Curator

    A Winter Juried Collection, Third St. Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
    Curator: Luella Tripp

    A Starling in Shadow, Cerulean Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
    Bill Scott, Curator

    Perspectives, Clemens Fine Art Gallery WKCTC, Paducah, KY

    State of Painting, Bethel College, Bethel, KY

    Three Person Show, Courthouse Gallery, Jackson, TN

    National Painting Invitational, Paducah School of Art and Design, Paducah, KY

    Pattern Play, The Living Arts and Science Center, Lexington, KY

    Other Worlds/Altered Visions, Indianapolis Art Center, Indianapolis, IN

    Mark Palmer Gallery, Paducah, KY

    Four Women Artists, Brescia University, Owensboro, KY

    Visual Imagery, Gallery 303,Georgia Southern University; Statesboro, GA

    29th Bradley National Print and Drawing Exhibition, Peoria, IL

    Arts on Main, Shelbyville, KY

    Juried Exhibition, Yeiser Art Center, Paducah, KY

    Works by KFW Grant Recipients, Artswatch Gallery, Louisville, KY

    A Sense of Place, Morlan Gallery, Transylvania University, Lexington, KY

    50th Mid-States Art Exhibition, Evansville Museum of Arts and Science, Evansville, IN

    Renaissance Regional Art Exhibit, The Renaissance Center, Dickson, TN

    New Faculty Exhibition, Eagle Gallery, Murray State University, Murray, KY

    January Jubilee, Moreland Gallery, Transylvania University, Lexington, KY

    Water Tower Annual, Water Tower, Louisville, KY

    Artist's Bibliography

    Studio Visit Magazine, OpenStudios Press, Boston, MA
    Juried Publication

    Professional Experience

    1999 - 2017
    Professor of Painting, Murray State University, Murray, KY

    Instructor, Kentucky Institute for International Studies, Italy program

    Instructor, Kentucky Institute for International Studies, Italy program

    2002 - 2007
    Associate Professor of Painting, Murray State University, Murray, KY

    1999 - 2002
    Assistant Professor of Painting, Murray State University, Murray, KY

    Awards & Honors

    Nominated for Joan Mitchell Award in Painting and Sculpture, Joan Mitchell Foundation

    CISR Research Grant, Murray State University, Murray, KY

    Individual Artist’s Grant, Kentucky Foundation for Women

    Professional Development Fellowship, Kentucky State Arts Council

    Individual Artist’s Grant, Kentucky Foundation for Women


    People’s Education Press, Beijing, China
    Gainesville College, Gainesville GA
    Richard Brush Gallery, St. Lawrence University, Canton, NY
    Roland Gibson Gallery, Potsdam College, SUNY, Potsdam, NY
    Private Collection, Mark Sloan and Michelle Van Parys, College of Charleston

    Lectures, Workshops, & Papers Presented

    Lecture, Western Kentucky State University, Bowling Green, KY

    Panel Discussion (Women in Art) Brescia University, Owensboro, KY

    Gallery Talk, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, GA

    Recorded Juror’s Lecture, Henderson Art Guild, Henderson, KY

    The Poetry of Eavan Boland, Jesse Stuart Symposium Composition Workshop, Murray Art Guild, Murray, KY


    Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY
    MFA, Painting

    Museum Art School, Portland, OR

    Reed College, Portland, OR
    BA, Joint degree program with Museum Art School