Dawn Cerny is the most anarchic of the emerging talents of Seattle. Her work cannibalizes history and spits it out on cheap paper.
In a solo show at Gallery 4Culture in May 2006, wild dogs painted directly on the wall terrorized each other, but they didn't affect the delicate, framed paintings of noblemen on which they were superimposed. The two realms rebuffed each other like opposing magnets.
At Catherine Person Gallery in March, Cerny installed a large grid of dozens of scraps of drawings and paintings on the wall in the form of questions and answers, based on the Victorian magazine Notes and Queries.
Now, she has an eccentric, multimedia double marriage portrait of Mary Todd and Abraham Lincoln up at Kirkland Arts Center, as part of Suzanne Beal's excellent Help Me I'm Hurt show.
What is this woman up to? Time to find out. Here are two older works: