Claus Castenskiold

The new paintings on exhibit with Lucille Khornak's gallery, represent a departure from a long standing affinity for figurative expressionistic painting. The exclusion of the human form, in these paintings, was deliberate.  My figurative paintings were often seen as being too dark. So the time had come to try a new approach, and make happier paintings. That the new paintings should evolve, and emerge with a certain ease, is a pleasant surprise. A reward, perhaps, for many years of trial and error, in which many paths in my quest to grow as an artist, led to dead ends. Breaking into a new field of discovery, through in my painting, always seemed to elude me. Giving up art altogether, crossed my mind a few times, in the last thirty six years, in which I have been an artist. With the figure gone, for now, a freed up pictorial space was created, leaving room for me to investigate fresh possibilities in my painting. My using acrylic paint, instead of oil paint, has been crucial. I like that my brush work and colors dry almost as fast, as I can apply the paint. As long as the painting keeps progressing, there is little reason to stop. With oil paint the dry time can take days. Drying paint can cause loss of momentum. Using acrylic paint has allowed for more spontaneity. Also less aversion to taking more risks.

The figurative and representational has always had a place in my work. The use of figuration allowed me to be specific with my intent, but how I apply the paint, has always been to set the mood, and drawing to refine emotions. 

 

This new series of paintings, without the presence of a human form, has challenged this artist to find a different approach, a new vocabulary, and discover an alternative reality which can suspend disbelief, and invite the viewer to explore and connect with these landscapes on more than one level. I personally think of these abstractions, as works drawn from Nature. However, they are from the landscape of the micro and macro cosmic landscape which underpin the basis for our everyday interactions in the natural world, yet they remain invisible due the narrow range of human sight, hearing and smell. By taking the invisible world, and blowing up these secret universes, a sense of wonder emerges. The science, and understanding of our world, through physics, has opened up new frontiers. The invisible, now visible. These paintings give life to the ideas, that interest me, in various fields of study. I like to keep the process of making my painting obvious. The finished work is the sum of all the elements, which went into the making of the painting. If it can keep my attention, to the last brush stroke, and there is nothing to add -  I 'm done. More figurative works will be created, when the time comes. For now I am happy exploring the secret world beyond tangible reach.