An interview with painter Svenja Deininger whose show Untitled / Head was recently on view at Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York.
Deininger comments: "My work can be like a sentence. It is about combining single paintings in a space like there are single words in a sentence and finally in a story. In their combination there is often a range of intensity... For the first view [my paintings] mostly seem to be very straight and logical, but once you spend time looking at them you realize they are not. I wouldn’t describe my work as abstract paintings though I wouldn’t see them as being figurative either. It is more like a visualization of a general higher idea and, with its materiality and different layers, like a concrete description without bringing the idea to a physical appearance."
Sultan writes that the show "is a deeply satisfying one: there is a sense of exploration, of expanding ideas; there is also a wonderful sensitivity to the weights of color and shape. Each of 12 paintings in this show, large or small, has beautifully realized surfaces: they are smooth and glassy, or revealing of the canvas beneath the color, or richly textured."
Alexander writes: "One of the most striking aspects of Deininger's work is her sensitivity to the nuances of her materials -- her ability to achieve a wonderful variety of surface and edge within a highly reduced vocabulary. She does this with utmost subtlety, employing soft color contrasts, and shapes and lines that both adhere to and slide away from the grid."
De Jong writes that " Deininger is an artist who has taken the relatively small, in her case diminutive canvases of bars of color, white and grey shapes attended by errant marks and the diagonal line, and creates a hushed visual experience. Borrowing from the spiritually tinged formalism of Malevich’s Russian abstraction, Deininger’s grey hued canvases fall in the space between complete painterly independence and a predetermined language."
The gallery notes that: "The fact that [Deininger] does not work according to what is seen but rather examines the conditions of vision itself can also be sensed in the central significance of the color white for her work. Both as paint and primer, it emphasizes the materiality of the picture support. In its opacity, it simultaneously creates optical phenomena such as light-dark transitions, depth of space or the modeling of forms. Both with the material and purely visual effect, different spaces are made by contiguous surfaces and translucency that, according to the artist, are not 'a translation of the physical world into painting, not about color as a symbolic language but rather as ambiance (…).' "
Edited by artist Brett Baker, Painters' Table highlights writing from the painting blogosphere as it is published and serves as a platform for exploring blogs that focus primarily on the subject of painting.