© Copyright 2010 Saatchi Magazine
Nobody. In the middle of nowhere. Snow, earth, dirt. But also swings, football nets, advertising boards. Eva Nielsen’s paintings speak of places abandoned by humankind, where, as she puts it herself “the human being is banned, only his absence remains.”* Mixing a toned down palette with geometric elements, working on the same canvas with oil and screen print, the Paris based, French-Danish artist works at the threshold of figurative and abstract painting. A former student at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris (where she graduated in 2009 with the “felicitations du jury”), Eva Nielsen has a promising career ahead of her.
A discreet irony is part of the package, together with a recurrent vanishing point. The artist constructs each new work by a succession of layers: landscapes in the background are slightly out of focus and in contradiction with elements in the foreground. “Is it a chandelier we’re looking at or just some dripping pictorial material? Are they wooden planks of brush strokes?”*
This “end of the world” kind of imagery holds also a great amount of hope. It is as if anything is possible, as if a new chance is being given to human race, or on the contrary to nature to live in peace without the violent interaction of people. The scenery is familiar to us: a snowy landscape, an abandoned urban zone… and yet Eva Nielsen summons her own references, from which we are kept apart, like the glimpse of a landscape seen from the window of a high speed train, giving an impression of “déjà vu” while holding its own forgetting and forgiveness.
Each work appears as the memory of one of the artist’s dreams, or on the contrary as a mix of several minds’ mental images. Some parts are recognizable, but as soon as you think that you remember something, that you have it on the tip of your tongue… It disappears again, leaving you alone in front of a desolate landscape. It is a great experience, and I recommend everyone to get lost in Eva Nielsen’s paintings.
Daria de Beauvais is a curator at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris as well as an independent curator, specializing on the emerging French art scene.