Lynda Schlosberg’s exhibition, Compression, is in the Member’s Gallery at Kingston this October. The works of acrylic on panel are small in scale, ranging from six inches square to ten inches square, but their striking colors and dynamic compositions provide potent visual impact. Bright dashes and flickering grids float on fields of solid color. The shapes represent organic forms, but we pay attention to the optical effects of the delicate brush strokes, the patterns and the colors, in addition to what they represent. The paintings produce a hypnotic effect that seems to occur as simply as sunshine hitting the surface of moving water, but in reality it is the result of careful planning and calculated effort.
It may sound unexpected when I say that this post is perfectly timed for Halloween. You may ask what these abstract paintings have in common with mysteries and hauntings, but this artist seeks the things we can’t see. Her work is the result of her long-term investigation into quantum theories, such as how thoughts or ideas may turn into tangible things. Schlosberg says, “If every thought that has ever been thought still exists, and all of those thoughts are in the energy field that we are all connected to, then the combination of the thoughts as energy could manifest into an infinite number of potential outcomes.” Among those outcomes: words from people who have died may still be detectable by us. In that way, her paintings become dream-catchers of the unseen with a system of recapturing naturally-occuring forms.
Making invisible things visible may seem impossible or magical, but the science of quantum physics has proven things such as observed particles behave different than unobserved particles. If this experiment sounds unfamiliar, check out this short video describing the Double Slit Experiment from the film What the Bleep Do We Know!? Schlosberg wants to make that which is invisible, visible, and makes her artwork in a way that is largely systematic, calling upon quantum theories as they relate to thoughts or ideas turning into tangible things.
How does these theories translate into a system? I don’t want to pull back the curtain entirely, but Schlosberg paints projected images derived from her own photographs, with subjects including water and cheesecloth, onto her panels. Schlosberg began the work in Compression by painting outlines, and each outline defines a space. She selects a palette that is not necessarily connected to colors found in the original image, and applies the colors with rules. For example, a turquoise dot will only happen on a dark blue space, or orange will only border green or yellow (with unique rules for each new painting). Schlosberg uses color to show motion, space, and different levels of molecular vibrations, and she calibrates how complementing colors vibrate within each composition to enhance this effect. Schlosberg can see the entire form projected onto the panel, but the image gets broken up, and some elements are accentuated, while others disappear. She applies a common set of forms to reach different visual results, and careful observers may note formal similarities between paintings that, due to their contrasting palettes, at first appeared quite distinct from each other.
Schlosberg derived her semi rules-based system out of a desire for the paintings to not extend directly from her mind, but rather to collaborate with the observed world. The idea for projecting images came about when, years ago, during a train ride, she caught parts of the film The Matrix on a fellow passenger’s handheld device. She saw the cascade of computer code, 0110111, and so on, with no sound, and the visualized, coded information inspired her to make a screen of her own found imagery by projecting it and then translating it by hand with color. Since then, she has also experimented with the patterns that may be observed from photographic images of television screens. Digital imagery in the form of photographs and videos have directly observable messages, but they also have a great deal of untapped information.
Schlosberg’s paintings encapsulate the premise that formlessness and form are ever-changing, and that the tiny, undetectable vibrating particles that compose the entire earth have the potential to help us see more than what is readily visible. Quantum Physics includes the study of these microscopic vibrating particles, resulting in discoveries such as how time behaves differently than we assume–it is not linear, but relative. Schlosberg’s paintings express a similar view of the world, that what is formless may take shape, and what has passed may yet coexist with what is yet to come. She searches with color and line in paintings where shadow, space, and objects are interchangeable.
Schlosberg received her MFA from the Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University, and her BFA from Ohio University College of Art. Her work has been published in Boston Home, Studio Visit and ArtBeat magazines and has been reviewed in the local press including The Boston Globe. She received the 2013 Frances N. Roddy Award from the Concord Art Association, juried by Nick Capasso, Director of the Fitchburg Art Museum. Schlosberg’s paintings have been exhibited extensively throughout New England. Schlosberg is represented by Susan Maasch Fine Art in Portland, ME and Kingston Gallery in Boston. She maintains a studio in Waltham, MA. In addition to Kingston Gallery, you can see her work in November at Susan Maasch Fine Art, and follow her on Instagram @lynda.schlosberg.