My Gleaming Soul – at Museum Folkwang, Essen
My Gleaming Soul presents ten new works by the New York artist Eliza Douglas (b. 1984), currently studying at the renowned Städelschule in Frankfurt am Main. Douglas’s large-scale paintings captivate the eye through their bold style and a striking recurrent motif: the artist’s hands. Occasionally shown in combination with a pair of feet and always depicted against a white background, the naturalistically rendered hands are the pivotal subject of her vibrant paintings. Douglas combines representational and abstract painting by creating novel transitions from one to the next.
As a trope in the history of art, the artist’s own hands have long been the closely linked with the act of artistic creation. In Douglas’s work the creative hands appear to dance around the – wholly absent – body, at the end of a pair of grotesquely long arms. Douglas’s canvases provide a fresh and innovative comment on the time-honoured act of painting using paint applied with a brush. Her form of meta-painting is one of the many possible answers to the question of what painting can look like in the 21st century.
My Gleaming Soul
16 February – 2 April 2017
Courtesy of the artist, Museum Folkwang, Air de Paris
Photography: Museum Folkwang, Ivan Murzin