It is difficult to express the astonishment and awe one feels whenwalking into the small area that constitutes Philip L. Sherrod’s studio. There are canvases piled on and leaning against everything stationary--the perfect image of the artist’s studio. That is the microenviroment of Philip Sherrod. His raw palette and heavy brushstroke capture his passionate approach to his subject matter, whether in form of cityscapes, nudes, portraits, or self-portraits.
The images pulse with a life force too strong to ignore, demanding a response from the viewer. In an artistic age dominated by ab- stract expressionism, in which content has been reduced to the dialectic tension between color and form, the powerful, descriptive
literalness of Sherrod’s images might be rejected as trite and out of date. Without a doubt, he maintains the significance of the sub-
ject matter throughout his work. Despite his rapture with the physical properities of paint on canvas, he refuses to allow color to upsurp the image. To understand the strength of Sherrod’s work and his significant contribution, one must penetrate the miasimic
contortion of color and see his subject matter, because each is equally integral to the whole. Whether labeled an absurdist, or colorist, or even a pornographic painter, Sherrod illustrates with his subject matter an individual approach to the world. “Sherrod is an artist of extreme individual eruption. He is both a supreme enviro- mentalist and a visulizer of the human condition. “1 It is an in-
stinctive, personal response that sees optimism and meaning in life, as well as the “ugliness, stalemate, horror and repression”2 of it. He utilizes images based on a universal visual and emotional experience. Often depicting the less-than-ideal facet of the experience, the primal energy of Sherrod’s canvases confronts the viewer with an intense visual challenge.
Excerpt from introduction/-Sherrod Catalog-(61 Painting Exhibition) Cynthia Wayne, Curator Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, 1985