May 122008

Robin Neudorfer is an American artist who paints landscapes, interior scenes and still life, all using various media and surface materials. Online, she exhibits her artwork on her website and blog.

 The most impressive quality of Robin Neudorfer’s artwork is also the most difficult one to pinpoint. Some of her landscapes surge before the viewer in waves of color while others arrest with a net of strong vertical lines, not unlike prison bars. There are static, fixed compositions, but then there are dance-like and highly rhythmic arrangements. Some describe intimate, even humble mise en scenes while others capture vast, soaring scenery… Perhaps the best way to try would be not to limit oneself to just one stylistic or generic feature; indeed, that quality appears to consist of several components, which may combine or split off at the will of the artist’s brush.



Single figure or form as such are rarely an artistic objective: the artist seeks to capture the elusive whole; perhaps that is why these landscapes display a wavering, dreamy motion of light and color. It may appear as if the brush is hesitant in allocating hue or light, fearing that the final stroke would compromise a change visible only a few minutes later. Everything lingers, as if in a hope of representing both the past, the present and the future. The final result is an unorthodox “simple average” of a collection of representations — unorthodox enough as to confuse on the one hand but intrigue on the other.



I think that it is possible to be both, maybe even intended so by the artist. In many of the landscapes the ground level is so “battered” with brushwork or scorched with light as to disturb the equilibrium not only of the compositions but also of the viewer, outside the two-dimensional framework. Once again, I find it difficult to determine whether the artist cooperates with the audience, offering some kind of balance in return, or simply watches the viewer tiptoe upon around the hot asphalt of the cityscape or the cracked ground at the mountain’s foot. Maybe the mere availability of this kind of control and power becomes a goal in itself.


Arguably the biggest flaw in such style is that its moodiness projects on the observers — and requires them to be in a certain mood to respond and absorb the visual information. In other words, it is not unconditional. What I admire about this style is the pure painterly approach and the universality of artistic concept, that “simple average” of the elements of design — it accumulates creative energy and later speaks for the artist, visually, with quiet confidence.

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