Rezi van Lankveld: Finding Figures in Abstractions

When it comes to painting, artists usually draw the line between representation and abstraction, but Dutch painter Rezi van Lankveld finds more fun in blurring the boundaries. The Amsterdam-based artist coaxes figures from her paint soaked canvases by moving the stretched fabric this way and that to reveal a form that could come to life with the touch of a brush. A dot here or there or a manipulated drip can suddenly expose a ghost-like figure or an undulating landscape, as witnessed in her current solo show at New York’s Friedrich Petzel Gallery through March 13.

Belgian visionary painter James Ensor, the subject of a recent MoMA retrospective, portrayed masked figures that looked like a collision of color with feature defining lines, while the Dutch-American, abstract expressionist artist Willem de Kooning magically pulled voluptuous women from colorful layers of impasto paint. Following in their footsteps, Van Lankveld conjures spirits from artistic spills and pools of paint to make imaginative work, which is both haunting and sublime.

View a selection of images from the current show below.

Rezi van Lankveld, Old Planet, 2009. Oil on canvas, 51.18 x 51.18 inches. Courtesy Friedrich Petzel Gallery
Rezi van Lankveld, Xxxxxxxxxx, 2009, Oil on canvas, 49.21 x 43.31 inches, Courtesy Friedrich Petzel Gallery
Rezi van Lankveld, Tears, 2009. Oil on canvas, 47.24 x 47.24 inches. Courtesy Friedrich Petzel Gallery
Rezi van Lankveld, Hero, 2009. Oil on canvas, 49.21 x 43.31 inches. Courtesy Friedrich Petzel Gallery