Saturday, August 16, 2008

Rezi van Lankveld - works on paper







It is now so common for painting to be described as being 'between abstraction and figuration' that this ambiguous space surely deserves a more formal title. So easily is the term used to describe anything lacking concrete definition that very few works categorised as such can actually claim to hold and explore this space in a way that is truly engaging and exciting.

Rezi van Lankveld's work is a welcome exception. The Dutch artist emerged last year as a Future Great in ArtReview magazine for her swirling paintings on wood panels, where the milky paint pooled into intriguing images that seemed half-imagined.

At the Approach's West End space, Lankveld is showing small new works on paper. Despite the shift in surface, the technique and the ambiguity endures, and Lankveld achieves a new plane of intimate intensity. She pours a mixture of watercolour, acrylic and gouache onto the surface and draws into these cloudy, slippery pools of muted colour (usually dark grey) until forms come into being. Suggestions of faces (on the brink of dissolving entirely into the surrounding morass), bodies (many of them nude, some in salacious positions) and animals (there's a duck as clear as day) emerge like apparitions from the murk.

Far from asserting the figurative aspects of the forms that arise, van Lankveld's intuitive process appears to lead the image astray, and any clearly discernable figurative motifs are absorbed into abstraction elsewhere in the canvas. The paintings hardly look dry. Anything could slide out of position and change irrevocably in a moment. The corollary of this feeling is that we have here very carefully selected, delicate and precious freeze frames, where the paint momentarily washed into an image with just enough cohesion.

6 comments:

CAP said...

Is Rezi like a whole name, or is it short for something?

Anonymous said...

It is her actual name.

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