Emil Lukas, ‘gathering the small #0819’, 2008, Hosfelt Gallery

About Emil Lukas

Emil Lukas experiments with new approaches to painting—one highly controlled, the other almost totally determined by chance. In his “Thread” paintings, Lukas creates images that appear to glow, stretching fine, colored threads over the edges of canvases until a form takes shape in the negative space at the center. “I don’t work out the color in advance. I start with one, say yellow, and react with a color that’s not yellow,” he has said. “You go with it—it’s very much like jazz, and I don’t really bother trying to explain it once I’m done.” In his “Larvae” paintings, larvae are dipped in ink, placed on a canvas, and encouraged to roam around, leaving squiggly lines in their wake. The canvases are often layered, with thin washes of paint in between, adding depth and color to the tangled lines. Lukas also creates etchings and screenprints derived from the same themes, which play with gesture and ideas of diffusion.

American, b. 1964, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania