Critics’ Picks

Treasure, 2004.

Treasure, 2004.

London

Rezi van Lankveld

The Approach
1st Floor, 47 Approach Road
March 24–May 1, 2005

Rezi van Lankveld’s unusual technique involves pouring paint onto flat panels placed on the floor and, in a process rather like reading tea leaves, conjuring an image out of the patterns formed. It may seem haphazard, but what she divines from the random mess is nothing less than inspired. Her technique has a more profound effect when the result is less like finger painting in chocolate syrup, as in Give and take twist and kill, 2005, and more shambolic, as in Treasure or Second nature, both 2004. The almost baroque apparitions in Souvenir and Ideas of solution, both 2005, with their blotted-out faces, are anonymous; her muted palette focuses the images in such a way that they also seem strangely familiar (a feeling most evident, unsurprisingly, in her eerily moving Pietà, 2005). Van Lankveld’s touch is surprisingly light given her process; the creamy impasto of these dozen works, the doll-like heads of The hunt, 2004, and the feathery effect of marbled paper (Don’t stop, 2004), could have been modeled on underdeveloped Polaroid pictures. Her uncanny capacity to render these pictures at all speaks to an admirable degree of spontaneity, but also to a clear and knowledgeable engagement with traditional methods, history, and most importantly, chance.