Gallery Rounds – Staring Lisa Solberg

Lisa Solberg, just 25, has quite a great career in front of her, if she isn’t fashioning one already. I suppose I’m a bit jealous of these kids fresh out of art school meandering into the art world and being offered solo shows, seemingly on diamond encrusted invitations.

“You kids get off my lawn,” said the grumpy old lady who’s youth is well over.

In this case though, Solberg’s show is well deserved. Despite some familiar imagery of the day, be it the masks of Mexican wrestlers, florescent spray paint, Sharpie graffiti, or street art, Solberg is something special that requires more than a first look. She’s no poser, so don’t be so quick to judge. The work shows promising evidence of a new chapter in painting. The paintings are chaotic, energetic, and stirring. Nothing is refined, which is positively refreshing, if not stunning. But describing it as expressionistic won’t give it the justice it deserves.

She is undeniably a great painter who leaves no clean space for anyone else’s sake. There are areas of refinement yes, but her canvases are crowded with imagination with both obsessive and fluid markings. There is also a sense of witty commentary to boot. It is for certain — Lisa Solberg is not afraid. She seems to be competing for the role as the new Rita Ackermann – one of my favorite artists, by the way, as the work moves like a demonstrative predator setting up a trap; you’re caught and tangled in the net, left for the wild beasts on Psilocybin to eat you alive. And you know you love it.

© Carol Es, 2008 for Coagula Art Journal.