May 182008

What fascinates me about Robin Neudorfer’s trees is the co-existence of solidity and randomness; how the trunks and the branches intertwine in seemingly chaotic patterns yet still evoke a sense of stability. I think that one can safely assume that the artist has found a special channel of communication with the trees — the ability to illustrate them in full complexity testifies to how smooth and resonant that communication may be. Each one conceals a personal tale and owns a character. The transposition from the auxiliary status of a landscape prop to the role of a protagonist in the center of the stage is made via a believable story: remains of a broken fence in the background, a bench or a stone — they all linked people and, the trees, as quiet witnesses, now retell the past.

But perhaps the more rooted achievement here is the bringing of the trees to life by injecting them with vibrant movement. This, in fact, is a quality that defies the “natural” behavior of the subjects. We know that it took years, if not decades for the trunks to fill to their current size, yet it may seem as though they grew instantly from the ground, right in front of our eyes. Once again, the swiftness or the lightness of movement appears inappropriate pertaining to the cumbersome trunks. This is what the artist does: she breaks the mold of our prejudice about the trees, and amalgamates the two qualities. The artist unearths the roots — the stable element — through indirect means.

Compositional complexity and saturation, especially in the form of linear ramifications, compensates with surplus for the lack of color. Angular, twitching, agonizing lines in one piece become appeased and wavy in another, as if having found some direction, some peace. The offshoots are dancing: the mulberry as passionately as a tango couple (the doubled trunk indeed implies an intense dancing encounter), while the olive tree performs a composedly and slow waltz. The grove you see below may refer to a tribal dance of some sort, or, on the contrary, symbolize an urban gathering. The richness of the lines repeats the inventiveness of nature and reminds us that it is the most diverse and profound artist of all.

To conclude this series of reviews on Robin Neudorfer’s artwork, I would like to bring to your attention the ability of the artist to focus, be it on the subject, the theme (composition) or the concept. As a result, there is assured unity to the artist’s work, and a sense of faithfulness of execution. These, I think, emerge from both experience and a good pictorial and “thinking” eye — another occurrence of talent blooming on hard work.

  2 Responses to “Robin Neudorfer: “The Structure of Trees””

  1. Elijah, I want to thank you for the thoughtful review that you did of my work.
    More than once I sat back and said… He understands where I was at the moment I did that piece.
    That isn’t very easy to pick up if you don’t know the artist.
    I appreciate the time that you took. It is an honor to have my work reviewed on your site.
    I hope to do more work in the future that draws your attention.
    Thank you again.

  2. You are welcome, Robin — and the honor is mutual! It’s been challenging and interesting writing about your work, which, I must admit, becomes a challenge in itself with every additional review I write.


Leave a Reply