In her first solo project with the gallery, Girls’ School represents the culmination of an ongoing exploration of both a new medium for the artist and a new subject matter. In previous bodies of work, Scharlin used herself as her primary muse and produced photographs, drawings, and video from a variety of conceptual strategies; always exploring issues of self and identity vis-a-vis society as a whole.
The Girls’ School project embraces the medium of painting, a medium that is inherently “slow” to make and “slow” to receive. This “slowness”, and more specifically the passage of time, is echoed by the transitional age of the artist’s subjects. They seem somewhere between childhood and adulthood. All of Scharlin’s young girls are pictured posing in their school uniforms in various domestic tableaux vivants: lounging on an overstuffed chair, standing by the mantle, grouped around an “artist’s” easel. The paintings’ luscious brushstrokes, bold colors and cozy compositions, render the viewer unprepared for the depth of melancholy, seduction, or menace in these youthful faces. Scharlin’s young charges are ultimately resonant ciphers for the exploration of identity, conceptually joining this group of painting to the artist’s previous work.