- US & Canada Competition
Creative Arts - Fine Arts
Inventing a vivid unreal world, Eva Lundsager’s abstract canvases teeter on the edge of recognition. As the critic Joseph R. Wolin noted in a review of her work for Time Out New York (6-12 July 2006), her paintings “sing beautifully of landscape without ever describing one.” Multiple horizon lines, atmospheric space, and areas of solid ground evoke real-world space, but as Wolin pointed out in Eva Lundsager: New Paintings and Works on Paper (Greenberg Van Doren Gallery, 2008), the paintings’ “component parts never cohere as a persuasive illusion, staying always non-representational. . . [they] never become decipherable as something other than themselves.”
Growing up in semi-rural Maryland in the 1960s and 1970s, Lundsager was free to roam the surrounding farms, woods, and fields, and made regular visits to the museums of Washington, D.C. As a young teenager, she enrolled as an unaccredited student at Antioch College, taking studio and art history courses in ceramics. She received a B.A. in Fine Art from the University of Maryland, where she studied with Ann Truitt, Sam Gilliam, and the art historian and theorist Jack Burnham. Moving to New York in 1985 to attend the M.F.A. program at Hunter College, Lundsager worked with painters Ralph Humphrey, Susan Crile, and Marcia Hafif, and the ceramicist Susan Peterson. She also began working at the legendary Gracie Mansion Gallery, then located in the East Village. She lived in New York for fifteen years before decamping to St. Louis with her family. For a decade there she watched Missouri’s fast-changing sky, often beautiful, at times frightening. She now lives and works in Boston.
Lundsager has been exhibiting her art for more than two decades, including multiple solo shows in New York at the Greenberg Van Doren and Jack Tilton galleries. Her work is in the permanent collections of the Dallas Museum of Art, the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, and the St. Louis Art Museum, and others. Lundsager’s paintings have been written about in many publications, including Art in America, Artforum, the Brooklyn Rail, the New York Times, Time Out New York, and the New Yorker, and in Summer 2010 Bomb published a portfolio of her watercolors in its literary supplement, “First Proof.” She has taught painting and held positions of Artist in Residence at several universities and colleges, and recently completed two permanent public artworks; one a 12’ x 16’ painting based on a tiny watercolor, the other a painted glass screen triptych fabricated with Franz Mayer of Munich.
In addition to oil painting Lundsager has long worked in watercolor and sumi ink. Regency Arts Press published Ascendosphere, an artist’s book of her watercolors, in 2009, and the images brim with the rich, intense, toxic colors of polluted sunsets. In 2012, Liquid Terrain, a survey exhibition of twenty years of her works on paper, was held at the Sheldon Art Galleries in St. Louis. In a review of the Liquid Terrain exhibition for the Riverfront Times (1 March 2012), poet Jessica Baran extolled Lundsager’s work in watercolors: “Like a journal, it conveys a true sense of lived time—sputters of joy, interstices of black, journeys undertaken and completed—as well as a glimpse of a rich and active interior life, most at home in the fluidity of paint.”
Of painting today Lundsager has said “There is a sense of possibility in abstract painting—in all painting—possibility and freedom. The distinction between what’s abstract and what isn’t doesn’t seem important, or even particularly interesting. In my work I’m taking a language that had its gift of representation removed, and then using it to make a picture. Using the language of abstraction to make a picture: attempting invention, imagining. There is a sense of limitless space in these two dimensions."
For an article in The Village Voice (20 January 2009) Martha Schwendener described Lundsager's method and resulting work: “After the pigment drips down the surface of her canvases, she flips them upside down and continues to paint, so that the downward drips now defy gravity and end up looking like waving sea plants, flames or stalagmites. Morris Louis–like streaks slide sideways across the canvas; abstraction merges with landscape. Lundsager quotes oddball visionary painters like Marsden Hartley, mid-century watercolorist Charles Burchfield, and symbolist Odilon Redon. The results of this motley mix are a fabulous affront to high modernist ideas of painterly ‘purity.’”
Please enter the name of a fellow, or relevant search term into the field below to search for a fellow. You can also filter by competition, year, or fellowship category.