Sandra Lieners

Interlude

December 11, 2021 - February 26, 2022

Sandra Lieners

Interlude

December 11, 2021 - February 26, 2022




 

Sandra Lieners’s technique is central to her practice, oil painting used as a noble and traditional reference to art history. But her esthetic as well as the content of her works counterweight these connotations by evoking digitalization, kitsch, and the context of their production. Her work develops a critical approach to the role of analogy and painting in our contemporary societies, erasing the frontier between figuration and abstraction through a play on blurriness, framing, and pixelization. 


Sandra Lieners taught us to question and try our visual certainties when looking at a figurative painting to look for abstraction. Coming from a street art practice -with her torn posters (or so it seemed)-, Sandra surprised us by her pictorial mastery, challenging the veracity of visual instantaneity. Viewers revel in scrutinizing every detail of her works, looking to tell the true from the false, from her collages to her faithful reproductions of posters, her photographs to her blurred landscapes, virtual tours, and fine portrait works. Without forgetting the abstract elements that came as the final touch of paintings that are neither common nor conventional, but integrated. And this is no surprise when we know the tedious preparatory work the artist puts into each new creation. Today, it seems obvious that these “testimonies” from her preparatory phase would become a new form of artistic expression. Since 2012, Lieners has integrated these “testimonies” into her practice -sometimes isolated, simply laid in the exhibition space in the form of diptychs or polyptychs, and very recently as framings. The “Rest is history” series furthers this approach by providing a uniform framework to these random remains. Rhythm, repetition, and accumulation impact our formal relationship to them. Here, the pictorial matter and the artist’s gesture become visible.   


“The attic” series reactivates the lost esthetic of past generations. These mementos are either anonymous or personal, drawing from the artist’s family history, and revamped with contemporary references to digitalization, social media, and our relationship to images in general. They are thus paradoxically revived thanks to their peculiarity and stigmas, hybridized with the history of art. The contrast between high and low art is emphasized through their presentation in a white cube setting. Lieners brings these contrasts in the art world through works imbued with a calm, obvious, and sometimes ironical radicality. Narrative ready-mades, spectral paintings, abstraction, figuration… Lieners’s works result from reality impact on representational space, as is shown in her “testimonies” and recent “supersize” works, which consists in enlarging details of these testimonies. Randomness and control, speed and slowness, flexibility and rigidity are therefore opposed – a detail becoming monumental through the means of various interventions while being renewed in its initial pictorial form. 


In the new series we wanted to put forward in the Interlude exhibition, Sandra Lieners leaves her usual abstraction for something resembling figuration. We look for a narrative thread in the selection of paintings featured. The connection between the various steps in the artistic career of this young artist that brought her where she is, with her blurred portraits – inspired by the works of overlooked female artists who painted women in the portraitist vein of their time. The “Women painting women” series reflects on the representation of women in the history of art. These works seem figurative while remaining somewhat abstract, revealing the memorial power of paintings, the pictorial gesture, and the value we give to original artworks.  


One question arises: why painting in an era saturated with digital images? Because it is subjective and emotional. Because it requires time. Because it has depth, and because it establishes non-verbal communication with the viewer. It is proof of a haptic creative gesture evoking an interlude between action and reaction. 


An exhibition, or rather, a challenge for Sandra Lieners who proposes a straightforward display of her works articulated around defining moments of her practice. 

Sandra Lieners & Maëlle Ebelle

 




Artist : Sandra Lieners


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