Greenberg Van Doren May 24–July 7, 2006
As Wherever, the title of her first New York solo exhibition in nine years suggests, Eva Lundsager paints abstracted iconic landscapes whose imagery lingers somewhere between familiar and otherworldly.
In small- to medium-sized works, Lundsager uses a complex palette that defines each piece’s distinct atmosphere, from somber browns, deeply saturated cobalt blues and glowing reds, to soothingly lighthearted pastels (it is interesting to note that green is infrequently used). Compositionally, vast skyscapes are usually employed as epic backdrops for more detailed conglomerates of vivid lines and broken-up forms, generating an overall sense of dialogue between universal grandeur and microcosmic existence.
In “Maddenlump,” “Merry Munk,” and “Little Screamer,” by means of broad, simplified strokes, Lundsager pays open homage to, as well as loosely translates, the fiery skies that dominate many of Edvard Munch’s “Frieze of Life” works. Capturing the brooding light that is so characteristic of the Northern hemisphere, Lundsager adopts the dramatic mood that in Munch’s oeuvre has served to underscore Munch’s own angst and emotional despair. However, because Lundsager’s abstract landscapes are devoid of any human presence, the effect is less psychologically charged, and the expressionist skies serve a more generalized symbolism: they function as a fascinating framework for the artist’s vision of nature as forceful spectacle. In that sense, Lundsager’s work connects with the European Romantics, and an idealistic association with J. M. W. Turner’s ecliptic seas or Caspar David Friedrich’s panoramas might not be too far-fetched.
In spite of this, there is a whimsical quality to Lundsager’s compositions and an overt playfulness that enables her own voice to shine through. One of the exhibit’s most successful paintings, “Hermit Style,” contrasts expansive color fields with confined areas of great detail. A light rose and yellow tinted sky, reminiscent of a spring sunrise, adds a strangely soft glow to the otherwise predominantly ash gray grounds. However, this soil is far from infertile, and various mysterious structures made of dotted lines and curvilinear swirls have begun to populate the scenery. As they thrive, so might our trust in the eternal cycle of life, which proves that even a lava field will at some point serve as a breeding ground for new life forms.
Looking at Lundsager’s works it becomes clear that it is the moment of transition, when nature morphs from one state to another—like the time before a thunder storm when the darkening clouds foreshadow the theatrical release to come, for example—that remains the most inspiring touchstone for her painting.
Eva Lundsager: OvationBy Hovey Brock
MAY 2023 | ArtSeen
Ovation, a solo show of oil paintings by Eva Lundsager, extends the artists long-standing investigation of abstract landscape. Over the last thirty years, she has honed her painting language into a polished vocabulary of gestures: drips and pours, wet into wet, calligraphic line, and more.
Melissa Brown: Windows and BarsBy Riad Miah
MAY 2023 | ArtSeen
In her third solo exhibition at Derek Eller Gallery, Melissa Brown continues exploring different applications and processes to create kaleidoscopic imagery. Fusing and mixing extends to the show's title, Windows and Bars, as a double entendre.
Pope.L, My Kingdom for a TitleBy Erica N. Cardwell
DEC 21-JAN 22 | Art Books
Equal parts a peek at the artists sketchbook and a career retrospective through Pope.Ls iterative textual analysis, this book enlivens the artists fascination with language as a core mode of inquiry.
Karin Davie: To Boldly Go Where No Mans Gone BeforeBy Alfred Mac Adam
JUNE 2023 | ArtSeen
Karin Davie is adept at ironic sleight-of-hand: she simultaneously tricks us and shows how her hocus-pocus works. In the title of this double show, she deliberately apocopates Captain Kirks sententious prelude in the voiceover for the original Star Trek series: to boldly go where no man has gone before! Her version is more conversational or vernacular, but it also calls attention to the irony of a womans appropriation of it.