The first painting in Martha Mayer-Erlebacher's neoclassical realist show is of pubescent girls and doves. It may cause you to lump her in with every other saccharine revivalist following Carlo Maria Mariani's insipid lead. Keep going and you will see a talented and convincing exponent of an otherwise beleaguered genre.
Erlebacher is a strict and careful structural draftsman in the lineage of Poussin and Ingres. She feels that formal elegance and precision applied to the human figure is the best way to hook the viewer's mind and heart. That anachronistic assumption aside, unique handling of the figure and reinterpretation of classical themes definitely draws us into a closer look at what really concerns the artist--man's growing disconnectedness from the natural order. This is captured in the pose of a nude in a desolate landscape who gestures toward a distant monolith that suggests both nature and a tombstone. It conveys a mute sense of estrangement and imminent demise.