“Philadelphians know Martha Mayer Erlebacher as an accomplished figure-painter whose more familiar subjects include nudes and allegorical tableaux. Both themes are represented in her handsome show of recent work at the Seraphin Gallery.
Two Large paintings of female nudes show off Erlebacher’s ability to render the human body precisely while inflecting figures with personality and delicate nuances of shading and color. These qualities are even more noticeable in a study of a seated male nude seen from the back.
Allegory suggesting the human struggle for survival emerges in a scene of five mostly nude figures in a barren landscape. Like many of Erlebacher’s allegories, this one is enigmatic in terms of specific references.
The figure paintings may be large and dramatic in a primeval way, but for me a handful of smaller still-lifes steals the show. Their subjects are traditional- various fruits, copper pots and ceramic vessels- but Erlebacher’s atmospheric lighting and subdued coloring gives them an uncommon emotional current.
This is especially clear in Moonlight Still Life and Night Still Life, both of which use a crepuscular light and dark tones to create a mood of heightened awareness of one’s surroundings.”
-The Philadelphia Inquirer