Elizabeth Glaessner — Born 1984, Palo Alto, California. Lives and works in New York City. Represented by PPOW Gallery, New York.
Elizabeth Glaessner's paintings capture the aftermath of the apocalypse in dripping pigments, rendering mutant faces, globular landscapes and bizarre rituals that both attract and repulse. We normally associate abstraction with increased distance from the subject, yet Glaessner obscures her subject matter in order to bring them closer, to the point where they resemble a premonition, a half-baked memory or a gut feeling. Using pure pigments dispersed with water, acrylics and oils, Glaessner conjures a landscape that's eternally in flux. The layers of paint, so thick they never seem to dry, communicate a continually shifting, post-human world where meaning is forever liquid.
Citing artists like Caspar David Friedrich and El Greco as inspiration, Glaessner takes the artistic idea of a malleable reality to surrealist heights. While for centuries artists have negotiated how to best balance natural representation with the human impression, she removes the human element completely, instead painting with the hand of an unknown alien form. "A lot of the environments that these paintings take place in, I imagine them as somewhat familiar," she says. "I'll have a lot of forests and trees or a beach scene or something. But I also want it to feel almost toxic. A sort of toxic landscape that can breed different mutations. From all the destruction we've left behind on the earth, new things can be born. What was once toxic and deadly is now birthing a new life form."
Glaessner received her MFA from the New York Academy of Art where she received a post-graduate fellowship in 2013. She was awarded residencies at the Leipzig International Art Programme, Glogau AIR in Berlin and the Galveston Artist Residency where she resided in 2019-20. She has had solo exhibitions with PPOW Gallery, New York. Recent group exhibitions include Les Yeux Clos, Perrotin, Paris; 2020 Vision, Southampton Arts Center, Southampton; and Tell Them About Me, 1969 Gallery, New York.
Bad Girls 2021 - Featured Work
Body Awareness, 2020
oil on oil primed paper, framed
unframed: 38.1 x 27.9 cm - 15 x 11 inches
Courtesy of the Artist and PPOW, New York.