The light and energy of the East End have always inspired artists, and if you’ve visited any of the Leallo stores, you might have noticed all the original artworks hanging on the walls. Each location features the work of a local artist that founder Meg Chiarello has personally selected to compliment the vibe of that particular store. Abstract painter Elizabeth Karsch was Meg’s first collaborator, originally showcasing in Sunny, and now on view in Leallo Sag Harbor. Her work is wild, free, and deeply layered—and a beautiful compliment to the clean and simple Leallo style.
Elizabeth Karsch was born in 1980 in NYC and raised on Long Island, then moved to the East End in 2004. She studied fine art and art history at Skidmore College and at SACI in Florence, Italy, before making her way to Sag Harbor. Her work responds to the energy of the East End, fluctuating in style between seasons—serene winters or frenzied summers, showing up alternatively in her markmaking process.
Karsch talks about her struggles with stuttering, a speech impediment that limits her ability to communicate as clearly as she’d like—but through painting, she’s found an outlet of immediate expression, unfettered by the constraints of her vocabulary. Karsch is very in-tune with energy, both that of the natural world and of individual people. She contemplates the authenticity of an individual being captured within spontaneous, unique, and irreproducible markmaking, and her work clearly exemplifies this contemplation.
Karsch is currently working on a series that examines an energetic and stormy ‘tornado’ shape, reproduced with variations of intensity and light. Some of this work will be on view in Sag Harbor in September, just in time for our dramatic East End shift to Autumn.
A true fan of Leallo, Karsch loves to wear her favorite pieces on cozy beach nights, sitting around a fire with friends, then everyone getting home late with sandy feet, and just crashing right out in their clothes because they’re just that comfy. Her new picks at the moment are the Erica Boxy Cashmere Sweater and the Penny Pant.