Christine Ödlund

Christian Larsen

Christine Ödlund’s recent exhibition was tantalizing: finely detailed drawings showing scenes of strange vegetation, occasionally tinted in extraterrestrial pastels, and trance-inducing video animations of life-forms. The latter were lubricious in both senses of the term: slippery to the touch and salacious. Twenty-one works filled two darkened rooms, providing an experience with mystical verve. It’s not that Ödlund’s art is all New Agey sublimated sex, though there was plenty of that. Rather, my first thought was of poetry; Dorothea Tanning would fall for Ödlund’s works, not because they are throwbacks to Surrealism but rather because, like Tanning’s recent poetry, Ödlund hugs realism so tight that she comes full circle, squeezing out numinous metaphors—for a comparison, read Tanning’s “Evening” (2004).

There is an unexpected turn to this exhibition, but that story comes later. First there

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