John Hurrell – 10 July, 2016
Against the white walls Lundberg's lines seem also connected to Lucio Fontana, in that the coloured strips recede (due to their insubstantiality) and seem like cuts. From a distance, they look like Lundberg has sliced into the wall. This makes good sense considering Lundberg did at one time make 'paintings' by cutting into gallery walls as a sort of excavation, removing paint layers and digging into the architecture's site specific history.
29 June - 23 July 2016
In recent years, looking at Patrick Lundberg’s unusual stretcher-free painting practice, his small painted (pinned up) ball works seem to have had more attention than the skinny, vertical strip (originally bootlace) works. His current show, Figures, presents both varieties - but more of the latter than the former.
There is one sphere paintng, with fourteen painted units (a dozen blue balls and two black), each one decorated with hairline squiggles and delicate dots that seem to distantly allude to Sol Lewitt with their love of repeatable discrete marks. On the wall all together, the tiny pinned up balls seem like a constellation of sibling ‘earths’ and attendant ‘dark-sided’ black ‘moons’.
Lundberg’s thin vertical paintings are varied in length: approximately 20 - 24 inches and a pinch over a quarter of an inch wide - and there are a dozen in total. Most have several layers of thin acrylic applied, often with dry brush so that the fabric texture is utilised and the layers chromatically mix. Each strip is carefully measured and divided up, often into thirds or repeatable smaller calibrations (like a ruler). Sometimes the painting is meticulously tight and precise; on other occasions it is’ loosey goosey’ so the strokes are organic even within the narrow confines. Now and then ruled horizontal pencil lines are incorporated.
The structure of Lundberg‘s vertical line method seems to allude to Barnett Newman‘s ‘zips’, but obviously without the large saturated colour fields on each side. Certainly Lundberg doesn’t seem interested in the Sublime or mystical. More the opposite. It is more the materiality of Frank Stella‘s early work. “What you see is what you see.”
Against the white walls Lundberg’s lines seem also connected to Lucio Fontana, in that the coloured strips recede (due to their insubstantiality) and seem like cuts. From a distance, they look like Lundberg has sliced into the wall. This makes good sense considering Lundberg did at one time make ‘paintings’ by cutting into gallery walls as a sort of excavation, removing paint layers and digging into the architecture’s site specific history.
Now the cuts are optical, for the sliver of colour cannot expand or advance with all the white pressing in around it. The gallery walls look violated in a sense, their white skin has been opened by the parallel blades of colour: installations of hovering chromatic triads with each ‘suture’ strangely ordered. Their internally repeated divisions provide a measuring structure that nurtures comparisons and assessments of the physical dynamics of the room.
Although they work well in groups, Lundberg‘s fabric paintings have a different mood singly. They are more confrontational in isolation, more challenging - carrying all of the viewer’s focussed attention. With the show called Figures, there is also perhaps an allusion to Giacometti and his bronze sculptures of standing or walking (extremely reduced) men. The No titles have a presence, and their descending vertical linearity makes them into a kind of drawing: a fabric vector, hovering poised.
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