Rita Lundqvist: Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York
n an ongoing series of project exhibitions with new artists, Tanya Bonakdar Gallery is pleased to present a selection of recent paintings by Rita Lundqvist. This will be the first exhibition of her work in New York.
Rita Lunqvist uses a reductive vocabulary of forms and images to create minimal compositions that suggest mysterious narratives. Flat geometric forms describe landscapes whose dominant feature is usually a single linear horizon. Figures and objects are set within these landscapes, themselves rendered as a formal combination of geometric elements. Uniform in scale and perspective, these characters vary only slightly in gesture and position from one canvas to the next. Within the context of this compositional repetition, the figures deconstruct as symbols and themselves become formal elements. The divergent activities of these figures, or characters, are usually suggested by a single object, or prop. In the figurative elements, objects and landscapes, repetition from one canvas to the next is exploited so that the clear similarities between them become more obvious then their differences.
But it is within the space of these subtle differences that stories are suggested. A girl runs towards the mouth of a harbor. Another girl stands before a man speaking at a lectern. A boy pulls a cart. These moments seem stolen from a greater narrative, as if they are illustrations plucked from a mythical tale. But the larger narratives are merely suggested and are not as important as the single moment they depict. It is as if Lundqvist is working with the methodology of storytelling and picturemaking, extracting the moment from the fat of the narrative, and reducing the picture to its most basic essence.
With clear references to folk painting, the lack of context and disjoint between the deadpan emotion and activity also evoke Surrealist work. Further, as the flat stillness evokes early renaissance painting, the minimal simplicity of the compositional elements concurrently find resolution with contemporary and modern abstraction.
Rita Lundqvist lives and works Stockholm, Sweden. Recent shows include The Carnegie Art Award, Nordic Painting (2001); The Edstrand Foundation Art Prize, Rooseum, Malmo (2000); Solo exhibitions at Galerie Lars Bohman, Stockholm (2000); Norrkopings Konstmuseum, Norrkoping, Sweden (1999).