Dark Pools I, 2007
A silent jump into the abyssal creature. That's how we can describe the work by artist and architect Karen Axelrud. A liquid darkness covers her canvases, letting appear, now and than, textures, surfaces, scratches. Cracks maybe? Through which secret entities pass by. In her restless universe, Karen involves the spectator in this atmosphere (or should we say anti-atmosphere since it is submerged?) as intimate as unknown. Her colours, more than painting layers , brush strokes, arm gesture, are revealed interstices from a subconscious where we all live and where she lightens here and there subtiles lamps, hanging to invisible lines.
Many are the possible analysis to an artistic process. In a strictly psychological interpretation, this search of a hidden silent interior, the search of this original uterus that we don't remember anymore but that remains kept inside of us is evident. In a more formal vision, we find an architectural precision throw this vertical and horizontal lines.
But what mean is there in this very precise crossing lines if not to try to content, to imprison what seems eager to overflow? Stitching points, maybe, trying to stop an internal bleeding. Or, moreover, less organic, a skeleton over which the melting structure leans on
This gives the permeability to its layers. Lines, maybe a deny to this anemone-being that insists to emerge. If we push even further we should ask if it is really the lines that cover the surface or, in the contrary, they're actually holes submerged in this liquid universe? Anyway, it is the opposition of both structures, one rigid, geometric, the other one liquid and expanding, which creates the balance/non-balance of her work. Lines that rescue or lines that imprison plasma which are expanding or plasma that stroke? If the artist's references lead to Rothko or Mondrian, it is not only in the formal structure that we can realise it. The sober colour choice, the exhausting repetitive movement, the insisting over layers are just a way by which the artist let shows an intimate trajectory, mystic maybe, non-revealed.
There is no calm in these blind surfaces, blind mirrors, but an anxious lack of air where an unknown, bewildering world appears. Still, the irregular rhythm, the worked-re-worked, the continuous construction-destruction, the cover-uncover, reveal an intimate hope, a vital pulse.
Karen's canvases are not windows throw which we can see. They're pools. Dark pools inviting us to dive.