Karen Gunderson

BUZZ SPECTOR: The New Art Examiner: July 1978: Roy Boyd Gallery

Karen Gunderson’s paintings of fantastic clouds- ten acrylics and four smaller gouaches-stress the tension between objectness (object-ness) [sic] and depiction. Particularly in her acrylic works, Gunderson’s dense, opaque, and narrow range of color (mostly lavender and reddish-tinged blue) calls as much attention to her paint surface as to the view. Her rolling cloud formations in gelatinous pigment seem less atmospheric than aquatic, reminding this viewer of the blue enclosures of public swimming pools.

In her gouaches, though, Gunderson’s visions open up. The relatively lighter medium brings with it a lighter whiter palette. In Circle Light Source No. 7, a miraculous ring of light appears to glow form within a band of clouds. The effect is gently surreal, and affectionately reminiscent of moments from Close Encounters of the Third Kind.