Hanneline Rogeberg, tongue audit (1997),
oil on canvas
Wittmann Lawrence Gallery, Vancouver April 7 - May 1 -- Norwegian-born and Yale-trained Canadian artist Hanneline Rogeberg uses paint itself to explore literal embodiments of feelings and sensations. Rogeberg doesn't simply "depict" nude figures; she gives us facsimiles of the experiences of touch.
Her massive skin-to-skin nudes, deeply engaged in haptic exploration, seldom allude to themes of identity or self-consciousness. Although she occasionally uses classical compositions, Rogeberg's figures are more about internally-felt sensations than the poses of models. Evocative and sensual, without reference to specific narratives, each conveys a sense of mute weight, carnal muscle, and warm skin, pulse, hair and flesh. They are as equally voluptuous in the medium of paint as their fleshly beings imply.
Her current exhibition at the Wittmann Lawrence Gallery presents paintings that are small in scale, for the first time in Vancouver. Ranging from 12 to 36" in size, they explore struggles and tensions in family relationships. Mother to daughter, sister to sister or male to female, her bodies communicate the emotional boundaries and interactions of families: a sense of bonding, the strain of disagreements, feelings of discouragement, the sensation of support.
© Mia Johnson