Selected excerpts from reviews previously published in journals,  national newspapers, magazines and digital media

Urquhart uses a soft yarn and a range of equally soft; pastel colors, along with metallic touches here and there, so that the effect is somewhere between Cezanne’s “Bathers” and one of those weavers of “I Love You, Mother” pillows gone berserk. I found it all exhilarating and done with a strong authority; we are fortunate that colleges need artists as teachers — otherwise Shari Urquhart would surely be living and working elsewhere.

F.D. Cossitt
Art in Virginia, 20th Century: Vanguard Haven

The Richmond Times-Dispatch, VA
JUL 2, 1974

Shari Urquhart, a sensitive color-master, whose un-contoured people are playful and used humorously with the textures and wild patterning of unlikely rug murals.

Deborah Perlberg
‘Bad’ Painting, The New Museum

APR 1979, p.69

In the 1960s and 1970s, Urquhart was painting canvases with similarly humorous subjects. The surfaces became more and more textural as she added flocking and other substances to her painterly surfaces. This interest in texture in her paintings, combined with her experience making rugs for artist Alan Shields, inspired her to begin creating her own rugs in the mid 1970s.

Ann Chenoweth, curator
Decorative Fabricators
, exhibition catalogue essay
JUN 16 - JUL 6, 1980
The Institute of Contemporary Art of the Virginia Museum
Richmond, VA

These rugs are in effect plush paintings that glitter and shimmer and induce us to stroke them. Their sensual appeal goes beyond seduction, for they are not merely alluring but brazen.

Joanna Frueh
Chicago: Shari Urquhart at Nancy Lurie

Art in America, New York, NY
MAR 1980, p.125

Ms. Urquhart works her vivid scenes in the pile stitch used for hooked rugs. “There are no technologies involved in the making of this work,” she said. “It is one stitch, one pile height. It took five minutes to learn it - and twenty years to begin to figure out what to do with it.”

Betty Freudenheim

Illusions and Allusions Fill a Show of Fiber Art
The New York Times, NY
MAY 19, 1981

But the physical content of the tapestries is matched by their subject matter, in which the conventions of good taste are blown up one by one. Shari Urquhart has a great sense of parody, and she also knows exactly what kinds of human entanglement will
remain startling no matter how often we see them on the wall.

John Russell
Invitational: New in New York

The New York Times, NY
JUL 17, 1981

In the wake of the monumental “Treasures of Tutankhamun” exhibition which toured America in 1978-79, Egypt became a popular subject for Joan Brown, Earl Staley and Shari Urquhart, who treated its iconography and mythology in both their classical and popularized forms.

Marcia Tucker
An Iconography of Recent Figurative

Painting: Sex, Death, Violence and the Apocalypse

Summer 1982, p.72

Essay published in Out of Bounds: The Collected Writings of Marcia Tucker
Edited by Lisa Phillips, Johanna Burton, Alicia Roberts and Kate Wiener, 2019
The New Museum of Contemporary Art & The Getty Research Institute, NY & CA

A wall hanging by Shari Urquhart, Bouncn’ Balls, is woven by the artist from wool, fabric and touches of plastic. The entire effect is one of pointillism and movement. The study is an acrobatic one in which the male and female performer exchange the juggling of balls and is strikingly handsome.

Millie Wolff
Gallery’s Collection is Interesting and Diverse

The Palm Beach Daily News, FL
DEC 29, 1983 p.7

Shari Urquhart: Narrative Tapestries
(Monique Knowlton, 153 Mercer Street, NYC)
Continues to weave magic carpets that carry her around New York City and to far corners of the world.

Michael Brenson
Art: ‘Auspicious Spirits’ of Korea

The New York Times, NY
DEC 23, 1983

Suspending Judgement is a more ambitious composition as is Vladivostokana. They are strange, outrageous combinations of what seem like incongruous elements, which, when viewed in the gestalt of each piece, as well as the entire body of a work, seem quite in harmony with the others. This show will leave you either stammering or speechless.

Ellen Lee Klein

ARTS Magazine, New York, NY, 1984 p.24

Shari Urquhart’s display of hand-hooked tapestries astound, confound, amuse, and absolutely command attention. Bouncing with textures and various surfaces, they shine with razzle dazzle, combining numerous colorful materials and intricate details crammed into each overall image. They seem to satirically narrate various themes that appear to be vehicles for expressing woman’s struggle: her struggle with roles, romance, relationships, the material world, nature, kitsch, heroes and heroines.

Ellen Lee Klein

ARTS MAGAZINE, New York, NY, 1984 p.24

Shari Urquhart’s five pictures are in fact rugs, hooked in wool, silk, and tinsel … In Bride’s Surprise Demise, the woman dressed in a peignoir over a bikini, fends off a rain of household objects. By this time, the artist’s skill begins to make itself felt - especially in the way the robe’s
pink stripes are gradated to suggest the play of light - and so does her feminist message.

Vivien Raynor
Two Shows are Merged, with Little in Common

The New York Times, NY
NOV 10, 1985

Shari Urquhart makes hooked rugs another traditional American craft, which in the nineteenth century was almost wholly identified with women. She uses this quintessentially ‘female’ medium to express the ideas of contemporary feminism. A reviewer spoke of her ‘harmonious unrealities’ which ‘make each scene mythic’, but recognized, too, that ‘Urquhart presents her scenes as rituals, she recognizes the men and women “perform” certain “routines” together.

Edward Lucie-Smith
American Art Now: From Mock-Architecture to Mock-Science

Phaidon Press Limited, New York, NY, 1985 p.70-71
ISBN 10 : 0714823449

And we have to comment Shari Urquhart for her tediously developed hooked-rug images dealing with 20th century follies. While she talks innocently about replacing Santa Claus stickers with Easter Bunnies, there is more going on in these narratives… And jigsaw puzzles are metaphors of life’s complex pieces. Forget watching [Phil] Donahue or listening to Dr. Ruth - Urquhart uses shiny silver yarns and multi colored wool to point out the humorous aspects of the bullying that goes on between the sexes.

Philip Eliasoph
Fear and Loathing in the Neo-Expressionistic World

The Advocate & Greenwich Times, CT
MAY 24, 1987

Shari Urquhart: Narrative Tapestries
(Monique Knowlton, 153 Mercer Street, NYC)
The ultimate success of this agreeably wacky world is likely to depend on the artist’s ability to develop the tension between her medium and her subject matter.

Michael Brenson
Art: ‘Auspicious Spirits’ of Korea

The New York Times, NY
DEC 23, 1987

Why are we in our underwear and why are the hooked yarns so lustrous, luxurious? Urquhart’s high-kicking dames and palm-to-forehead males may be nasty or zany but they are kitsch —
consumers par excellence. Would these works be as effective as they are if they were paintings? I think not. Images and process of making are intertwined.

John Perreault
Narrative Fiber: Fabrication / Revelation

Exhibition catalogue essay
The Gallery of Art
The University of Northern Iowa
Cedar Falls, IA
NOV 13 - DEC 16, 1989

Urquhart’s large hand-hooked rugs delight and astound. Her Hung Jury (1985-86) of acrylic and wool juxtaposes theatricality with the mundane: in it a young woman wearing a funny see-through dress balances precariously on a chair while holding a crown and a man in bathing trunks and apron counters with an absurd gesture.

Lee Fergusson + Anna Bonshek
Fiber: Fabrication / Revelation

New Art Examiner, Chicago, IL
FEB 1990

Shari Urquhart created large and complex scenes of male-female relationships. Domestic details set the stage for their antics. One depicts the accouterments of a hunter’s home: zebra skin couch, mounted fish, bear skin rug, snake skin lamp and painting of a fierce grizzly bear. The hero is prancing about, waving his fishing rod aloft; this is his point of view. But look sharply - what is the woman doing? She is holding a dead mouse by the tail and is about to drop it in a wastebasket.

Betty Freudenheim
Illusions and Allusions fill a show of Fiber Art

The New York Times, NY
MAY 19, 1991

The rugs allow the viewer a chance to commune with surfaces, a requirement, for example, to appreciate the quirky domestic tableaux by Shari Urquhart: hooked pictures on the hug scale of carpets that incorporate a dazzling mixture of pointillist color and textured yarns, ranging from rayon cord to fuzzy mohair and tapestry wools.

Pamela Scheinman
Reviews: New Ends: The Medium as Message

FIBER ARTS magazine
NOV 1991, p.65

An impressive installation of Shari Urquhart’s hooked rug tapestries which should sell audiences on the medium’s potential to say plenty about modern life. Urquhart communicates so much through her medium, it’s hard to imagine these images in any other form.

Paulette Roberts-Pullen
The Medium is the Message: Monuments to the Middle Class

Richmond Magazine, VA
SEP 1993

Urquhart continually plays on our subliminal associations with materials in her use of the actual stuff our worldly possessions are made of, juxtaposing large, evenly hooked expanses of wool reminiscent of a grandmother’s Axminster carpet with patches of fake fur, metallic thread and the diaphanous transparencies of lingerie.

Jenni Lukac
Shari Urquhart: The Hand Workshop

NOV 1993, Volume 17

Within these domestic interiors, the female figure plays out scenarios of seduction, defiance, anger, and despair, dodging phallic candlesticks, fighter planes, and the antlers of a multitude of taxidermy animals, as the male figure cavorts among toy trains, duck decoys, dart boards
and basketball nets.

Jenni Lukac
Shari Urquhart: The Hand Workshop

NOV 1993, Volume 17

The juxtaposition of these values with Urquhart’s provocative, wild tales of sensuality, obsession and violence provides a fascinating critique of the American female persona. We see enacted in her process of creation our own precarious balancing acts. A balance of sorts is struck in Indecorous Deconstruction with Tree and Bunny. She holds her gown as a shield and he holds his dead tree as a spear.

Robin Perl, catalogue essay
Shari Urquhart Solo Exhibition

The Hand Workshop, Richmond, VA
AUG 27 - OCT 8, 1993

One is aware of the privilege of seeing the complete cycle in one viewing, as it is almost inevitable the the individual works will be dispersed among a number of collectors. The resonance of various motifs throughout her tapestry theatricals is more poignant in that knowledge. Urquhart has endowed her archetypal figures with the talent possessed by all good performers: that of leaving the audience wanting more.

Jenni Lukac
Shari Urquhart: The Hand Workshop

NOV 1993, Volume 17

The Renunciation — its title alone a play on countless annunciations — alludes to the road Urquhart has chosen to travel. Her self-defined midlife work, the rug depicts a woman alone (a departure from her customary couples) lying on a table. Dropping from her out-stretched arms are symbols of the things she has renounced - ballet slippers and a hobby horse - while under the table, shoved against the wall, is a toy castle. A candle is burning down by her feet. Hanging on the wall above the woman, almost mocking her, is Swiss artist Arnold Böcklin’s painting of a hag-like mermaid lying on a rock.

Cynthia Nadleman, catalogue essay
Shari Urquhart’s Shaggy Rug Stories

The Hillwood Art Museum
Long Island University C.W. Post Campus
Brookville, NY
DEC 3 - JAN 28, 1994

Shari Urquhart and Beverley Semmes upend women’s work. In Urquhart’s world, the women are on top. Using woven tapestries she re-contextualizes the battle of the sexes. Urquhart’s “domestic goddesses” prance around in negligees or tutus swatting irritating gnats shaped like men or thumbing their noses at men/boys who insist on playing their war toy games.

Sue Canning
Bad Girls, Part II

JUL - AUG 1994, Volume 18, Number 4

Urquhart’s narratives often take images from historical artworks and place them in a contemporary context to depict defiant women taking charge of a situation. In Indecorous Reprisal, a ballerina, a recurring motif in Urquhart’s work, rests on a table in front of an appropriation of the Belgian symbolist Fernand Khnopff’s 1896 painting, ‘The Caress of The Sphinx.’ Like a vengeful puppeteer, the central figure is using a pair of scissors to cut the strings attached to twelve smaller ballerinas. Theatrical, humorous, and fantastic, this dreamlike narrative extols the strength and character of those struggling to have a voice.

Jeff Fleming, curator
Thread Bare: Revealing Content in Contemporary Fiber

Catalogue essay, 1995

Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Winston-Salem, NC

Urquhart has used the fuzzy strands of her fiber to bring a hazy glow to a host of ballerina’s skirts, just one of the icons Urquhart uses in a jumble of images that are at once lurid and serene.

Julia Chiapella
Wonderful Fiber exhibit at The Session Gallery

The Santa Cruz Sentinel, CA
MAR 21, 1997

Urquhart’s are excited visions of contemporary existence full of nervous, humorous recognizable human characters struggling to handle their too-full lives.

Michael Fressola
A Tangled Web Indeed

The Staten Island Advance
New York, NY
APR 2, 1990

Essay published in The Decline and Fall of the Avant-Garde: Essays on Contemporary Art by Edward Lucie-Smith, 2013
CV/Visual Arts Research Series, Wellfleet Press, NY