Robert Lucander

Contemporary Fine Arts Galerie (CFA)

Among Europeans, Finnish culture stands for melancholy and despair, for the emotional awkwardness portrayed in the films of the Kaurismäki brothers. And for unrestrained drinking. In Robert Lucander’s paintings, by contrast, one encounters an urbane, cool Finland, both youth- and style-conscious. His works are situated at the fault line where pop culture’s shimmering surfaces dissolve into a peculiar emptiness as monochrome planes of color.

Lucander’s earlier series “Up and Down and Back Again,” 1994–95, was already concerned with the relationship between representation and the painting’s material substrate. At the time, Lucander applied his paint to standardized aluminum panels. The uniformity of the format pointed to the tension among the various motifs: finely painted checked patterns, the mark left by the bottom of a paint can, or a smeared footprint, for example. In this way the ground

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