Fredericks & Freiser is pleased to present 4 Artists featuring Caroline Absher, Alyssa Klauer, Talia Levitt, and Maud Madsen.
Engaging the art historical trope of women as the ultimate object of patriarchal desire, Caroline Absher rejects this nonconsensual objectification and instead frames her women protagonists as serene, protective beings who, while attending to their own inner lives, project tenderness and power. The corporeal scale of the paintings gesture to a knowable space contained within which is belied by the artist’s saturated, electric color palette that suggests emotionally charged moments of contact, processing, and possibility. Abstract patches of color overlap with figures, blending person and space within a similar movement pattern; the result is a surreal, romantic, yet fathomable space that pricks familiarity and calmness at once within the viewer.
The psychological scapes of Alyssa Klauer distort the perceived boundary between dreams and reality to explore a queered sense of cosmic time and space through a range of high and low cultural motifs. Set against atmospheric, incandescent backdrops, indexes of femininity, like six-inch strappy heels and jewels, exist alongside silhouettes of adolescently girlish figures, kitsch cultural symbols, and fully rendered physiognomies. Oftentimes the paints communicate as light itself—their very luminosity dazzles. Refracting and filtering the artist’s own experiences through her idiosyncratic painterly gestures and palette, the artist’s scenes toggle between legible, seemingly conscious moments of realistic clarity and dreamlike, unconscious, specters of moments past or future.
Talia Levitt creates faux-tromp l’oeil quilted spaces that serve as the background against which myriad objects collected from the artist’s life are positioned. The artist often employs the technique of mise en abyme, referencing her own artworks, art historical icons, and her family archives. Engaging the modernist logic of the grid, Levitt’s linear marks serve too as the stitches of her depicted textile weaves, just as they elide with the very grain of the stretched canvas itself, resulting in a unique meta-material allusion. Transparent figures or facial details emerge from the patchwork of textiles and objects suggesting constant humanity. A closer look at these material constellations reveals at once an earnest feminism and cheeky humor that mark her work.
Maud Madsen’s intrepid coming-of-age compositions are constructed moments of the artist’s experiences that become legible through their own fantastic, sometimes nostalgic, logic. As if snapshots into a bildungsroman without the completed narrative arc, Madsen’s scenes depict youthful subjects undertaking various activities from dramatic vantage points. Her saturated color tones encourage the emotional context of the scene while the angled points of view allow the artist to contort and capture the women’s bodies’ choreographies in all their fleshy, awkward, and sensual glory. Viewers have limited access to the youthful figures as their faces are hidden from optical reach. Madsen refuses to idealize her subjects’ bodies: the authenticity of her figures, with their epidermal textures and corporeal accumulations, suggest the process of exploring and coming to terms with those bountiful insecurities of adolescence.