New York

Eva Lundsager

Stephanie Theodore Gallery

Eva Lundsager’s luminous paintings, small oils on wood surfaces, possess a transcendental, almost sublime, quality. The forms in paintings like Really Sips, Leading to the Mass, For a Juicy While, and Playing Field (all works 1992) suggest subjective dreamscapes. Characterized by a quality of light that seems to emanate from its surface and tactile paint, Really Sips employs thin layers of pigment to stir up contradictory feelings of freedom and confinement. Through this white elliptical form, with its multiple rings, and surrounding black and white and colored ground, Lundsager foregrounds the act of looking, marking the viewer’s self-projection into the composition and its surroundings. As this ellipse shifts from geometrical configuration to cosmic vortex in the viewer’s mind, it seems to hurtle through an infinite space.

This sense of the subsumption of the subject into the space created by the work is returned to in Leading to the Mass, in which the tension between the depiction of a subjective state and the material process of painting is marked by the apparent spontaneity of the drips and splashes. Treating size and scale as expressive dimensions in several works, including Playing Field, For a Juicy While, and Is Up (In Arms), Lundsager manages to combine the smaller scale of German Expressionist works with the heroic affect of Abstract Expressionism. When Vassily Kandinsky meets Clyfford Still, it amounts not to a backward look, but to a push forward that newly privileges subjective experience in abstract art.

Ronny Cohen