1995, oil on canvas. 48 x 60 inches. Collection of Brandon Webster.
Movement Series #7 (detail)
1980, graphite on rag paper. 23 x29 inches. Private collection.
Exotic Bloom Series #12
2004, oil on canvas. 18 x 24 inches. Collection of the District of Columbia, John A. Wilson Building, Washington, DC.
No matter how she appears in her works, Cleary demonstrates an ability to be, as the existentialists call it, “a voyeur of the self.” On the simplest level, this reflects her method—setting up a camera with shutter delay and variable exposures, assuming a posture and allowing that photo to structure a drawing. On another level, this objectivity leads to a reckoning with universal form—the human body as a mannerist, contrapposto letter S (a Caravaggio trick) or as an homage to the sfumato technique by which smoky light