Friday, July 21, 2017

Karen Lederer, Hands On @ Field Projects

I am a photographer, I mostly write about photography and I do my best to understand other mediums. Painting is the medium I have the most difficulty wrapping my head around. I like abstract paintings as much as the next art goer, but on some level I have a hard time placing a critical value on abstract paintings outside of my enjoyment of color palate and sometimes graphic design. Of course, there is visual innovation or emotional content that can bleed through in abstract paintings, but I often worry I am just staring too hard at an often decorative medium. So, I am in complete support of the current rise of figurative painting, until of course I get tired of it and pine for the poetic simplicity of abstraction. 

I love how Karen Lederer’s bright color palate that oscillates between solid punchy colors next and vibrant almost-psychedelic gradations. The resulting images and upbeat colors speak to an almost idealized life of a city dweller, like seeing the world through the eyes of an enthusiastic lover of Nora Ephron movies. In Hands On, you get the collision of bottled water, Spanish soda, bodega coffee, fresh fruit with the inescapable topic of the Trump election. These things show up in the paintings in what I imagine to be the artist making bright almost whimsical anti-Trump protest posters. The paintings and subject matter speak lovingly not only to painting and creating something new and wonderful in the world, but also to the specific world the artist appears to be inhabiting, which appears, to those of us living in the more faded ends of Brooklyn, to be a very enviable, vibrant world that I can only imagine existing on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

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Field Projects (526 W 26th St., Btw. 10th & 11th Aves.)


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