Karen Gunderson, ‘Sands Below #1’, 2011, ClampArt

In all-black paintings, Karen Gunderson conjures vast landscapes through what critic Gerard McCarthy described in Art in America as a “deft working of surface texture alone.” He continues, “Over the past eighteen years the Wisconsin-born New York artist has perfected a technique whereby pictorial illusions result from white light reflected off the raised edges of varied brushstrokes.”

Due to the way in which light reflects off of the black paint, Gunderson’s canvases sparkle, shift, and change as viewers move about the artworks.

About Karen Gunderson

Karen Gunderson’s black edge-to-edge paintings of the sea, mountains, the moon, and the constellations are focused explorations of luminosity and the painterly gesture. By working exclusively in black oils, Gunderson focuses the act of painting on the relationship between brushstroke and light. "By using only blacks, I'm forcing the focus onto the brush strokes reflected by the light,” she says. “I paint a form, an image with black paint, and the light makes them visible, like magic.” As much a study in formalism as a meditation on nature, Gunderson’s highly reflective surfaces allow the viewer to see a different painting each time he or she shifts positions.

American, b. 1943, Racine, Wisconsin, based in New York, NY, United States