Four legs in a garden
Elizabeth Glaessner (1984, Palo Alto, USA). Lives and works in New York, USA.
Acknowledgements: Perrotin gallery, PPOW gallery, New York.
The Consortium Museum is pleased to present an exhibition of works by Elizabeth Glaessner, completed from 2019 through today, which will be on view from February 4 to May 22, 2022 in the museum’s “White Box” gallery. Seven paintings will be shown under the 12-meter ceiling of this monumental gallery, including three new works created specifically for the exhibition. As Glaessner’s first exhibition in a French institution, this marks an opportunity for new audiences to discover a practice dominated by symbolic color and psychologically-charged compositions that are as strange as they are fascinating.
Elizabeth Glaessner (b. 1984, Palo Alto, USA) creates dreamlike visions bordering on the psychedelic, as evidenced by the supernatural creatures that inhabit her paintings. Her work draws on a large range of influences including contemporary imagery, art historical painting and sculpture, mythology, and the psychological worlds of Edvard Munch and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner. Starting with intuitive associations of images, she creates sketches and small paintings in which she freely develops her motifs. These preparatory drawings form the basis for larger compositions in which she employs the same improvisational brushwork. Improvisation plays a decisive role in her pictorial process, where uncontrolled pours and bold mixtures of color give rhythm to the compositions. It is indeed from her use of color and mastery of light that Glaessner’s paintings draw their strength, allowing her to locate her compositions in a mythical universe she describes as an “in-between world” born of her imagination.
Glaessner’s palette captures the evanescent perception of a dream, sometimes of a nightmare, and the fleeting feeling that it provokes. Using sheer layers of paint and hazy lines, Glaessner populates her canvases with vibrantly colored figures; they embody emotional states that are conveyed chromatically. These characters, occasionally tinged with eroticism, display ambivalent expressions and assume equally unsettling poses. As peculiar as they may seem, they evoke a collective imagination inhabited by fairy tales and mythological narratives – but if myth appears to occupy a prominent place in Glaessner’s visual vocabulary, it is emptied of any kind of moral underpinning and reshaped, offering viewers infinite possibilities for entry and interpretation.