May 5 – June 11, 2011
Thursday, May 5, 2011
6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
ClampArt is pleased to announce “Constellations, Moons, and Water,” an exhibition of new paintings by Karen Gunderson—the artist’s second solo show at the gallery.
For over twenty years, Gunderson has worked exclusively with black paint. She has perfected a technique whereby pictorial illusion is achieved by the reflection of light off the texture of meticulous brushwork. Initially the paintings read as sculptural relief, but upon closer examination one realizes the artworks are oil on linen and that the imagery is rendered through intricate brushstrokes alone.
Due to the way in which light reflects off of the black paint, Gunderson’s depictions of water sparkle, shift, and change as viewers move about the artworks. The silvery sheen of the surfaces is the result of the black paint alternately reflecting and absorbing light. As one sees a body of water due to the reflection of light off its surface, Gunderson’s paintings function in the same way. As the appearance of water perpetually varies as light plays across its ripples, these black paintings undulate and glisten when viewed from various angles.
In addition to water imagery, the show also includes the artist’s newer paintings of constellations and moons. The stars in the deep, dark night skies that Gunderson depicts possess a wonderful dimensionality—through the genius of her technique, some stars appear closer and others farther away, just as we sometimes experience such depth when gazing up at the heavens. The moons, on the other hand, are endowed with an amazing volume. There is a compelling illusion of mass and bulk to these painted orbs.
Lastly, the show also includes Gunderson’s most recent compositions executed in all-white paint, which utilize shadow as much as light in their representation of celestial bodies and mountains.
Virtually impossible to depict in photographic reproduction, Gunderson’s art must be experienced firsthand. Fascinated by nature, history, and hope, Gunderson’s choice of subjects often have specific meanings and significance.
Born in 1943, Karen Gunderson has been painting for over forty years. Her artworks have been exhibited in galleries and museums worldwide. In 2001 she won the Second Prize in Painting at the Florence Biennale. In 2010 her paintings were selected for a solo exhibition at the Bahrain National Museum in association with the U.S. Department of State’s ART in Embassies Program. Gunderson’s work is represented in such prestigious public collections as the Weatherspoon Art Gallery, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro; the Charles A. Wustum Art Museum, Racine, Wisconsin; Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, New York City; and Philip Morris, New York City; among others.