Galería Maior is pleased to present ‘arcadia’ a solo exhibition by Dutch artist Evi Vingerling (Gouda, 1979).
Pareidolia is a psychological phenomenon by which human beings seek to discern recognisable forms where there actually are none; it is a kind of automatism that our mind is set to trigger to help us understand or find meaning in external or previously unknown stimulus. It is about bringing something that is essentially alien closer to the realm of the familiar. Evi Vingerling seems to be aware of this mechanism and so her artistic practice is about exploring the plastic and aesthetic possibilities that arise from it. Her quasi abstract paintings confront the viewer with a type of imagery that very often asks for a repositioning, a mental exercise by which the beholder is able to apprehend the represented image wholly —what at first looks like scattered brushstrokes progressively reveal themselves as part of a larger structure. Vingerling’s paintings are then something akin to an event because they implicitly convey the notion of time; time for the viewer’s mind to capture the image and make it its own. The truth is that there is something very refreshing in Vingerling’s approach, one that asks the visitor to remain attentive, on guard.
Evi Vingerling’s body of work sits comfortably between abstraction and figuration; her paintings are indeed a fertile ground in which she cultivates a productive relation between the two realms. Fast and agile brushstrokes, usually combining two colours, feverishly swarm the surface of the canvas that little by little conform the bare structure of an image, sometimes in a more or less obvious way. As the artist herself explains ‘the thing should not look too important’; this statement points not only to the mundane but also to a special kind of intimacy in her relation with reality, her main subject of investigation. From it stems an attraction and a subtle awareness for the quotidian that, quoting French author Maurice Blanchot, is inherently inexhaustible, open ended and perpetually becoming. Taking a quick look at her paintings it seems that the artist finds most of her inspiration in landscapes, plants and flowers; imperceptible things for the many that have the extraordinarily capacity to attract her attention and become worthy of representation. Here comes to mind the work of Ellsworth Kelly, especially his exquisite Plants Drawings, or Clyfford Still’s abstract compositions that so often recall the abrupt orography of North America’s mountain ranges.
‘arcadia’ presents a new set of paintings inspired by the idea of transience, a notion the artist relates to change and development, and with it to the idea of potentiality. An enthusiastic ethos impregnates her understanding of life, one that celebrates movement and energy as well as it appreciates the little nuances of the everyday life. Following this train of thought, it could be argued that her paintings work as somewhat opposed to the idea of the traditional ‘memento mori' (in Latin, ‘remember you will die’), so common in History of Art specially in the Netherlands during the seventeenth-century with the genre of the ‘vanitas'. Instead of perceiving the inevitable passing of time as a source of decay and death, Vingerling takes on a fearless look into the future and appreciates the fleeting nature of a reality in constant flux.
The apparent lightness and fluidity of Vingerling’s work contrasts sharply with a creative process that sometimes can be quite physical and mentally exhausting. Starting from a vivid memory or a photograph, the artist reworks the image to later subdue it to a savage process of reduction of forms —arguably, Evi Vingerling’s practice is all about devouring reality. This visceral approach is also present in her painting methodology where she feverishly applies all the brushstrokes at once in a very short time lapse. And the result is excellent; her paintings are a mix of abstract and recognisable forms that, as the choice of bright colours indicate, bear no direct correspondence with reality. Here we can spot a form of irrationality and ambiguity that turn her paintings into echoes of a distant and ever changing reality.