André Lundquist was born in 1972 in Copenhagen, where he received his initial training with the painter Therese Dragshøj (1909-1998). His graphic studies under the tutelage of Peter Martensen (represented by the “Galerie Danoise” in Paris) have clearly left their mark on his technique and explain his penchant for creating tensions between the characters which he paints and the surface of the canvas on which they are painted.
In 1999, he was the recipient of a scholarship from the Beckett Foundation. As part of the prize he had a residency in Southern Spain at the Valparaiso Fondación. He used that stay to seek new sources of inspiration. From this trip as well as many stays in the South of France, he withhold some feelings and sensations, which he later released and translated into light and colors. For those who decide to enter the world of his paintings, Lundquist promises a great deal of emotions. His figurative painting is sensual and timeless.
Grace, lightness, peace … are other words to describe the painting of André Lundquist. There is in his works a silent poetry that allows the viewer to enter each of them calmly, without fear. This is a real tour de force, because for the most of them, the women portraited and sketched, which he gives life to on the canvas, are presented and revealed in their intimacy. They are sitting, standing, lying, kneeling … And yet, the painter’s gesture never exudes any kind of voyeurism. These women are like stills who let under their skin pigments, behind the iris of their eyes, break a more complex story … As visual metaphors, they sometimes are the mirror of our own experiences sometimes a door open, behind which the viewer can give free rein to his / her imagination. In each of these women there are a thousand stories, a thousand situations to appropriate for one self or not.
Lundquist mixes oil, ink, charcoal, crayon, wallpaper. Many overlays which give all its originality to his body of work. These palimpsests sometimes born out of a subtle pastel color palette sometimes full of vivid, bright colors, are the creations of fine colorist whose lineage goes back to the late nineteenth / early twentieth century.
Lawrence Ebelle ©
A text by Tomas Lagermand Lundme, about my last exhibition in Gallery Labr :
Everything is to be found. The dream/Dream is to be found
The writer Inger Christensen recorded everything which is to be found/exist, in her poetry collection “Alphabet” (Gyldendal, 1981)
”abrikostræerne findes, abrikostræerne findes”
“Apricot trees exist, apricot trees do exist”
Words are on paper with a steady/firm voice, which with no other rhythm than blood itself sets the tone. She writes a knowledge about everything which exists, not only all the possibilities, all the dreams, all the hopes – but also the wars, battles/fights, disputes. We don’t encounter love faceless. We encounter it with a face, which remembers that love does exist.
André Lundquist’s paintings, drawings and collages deal also with the existing, with being somewhere between many things, many dreams, many options. It is often the woman, who in shape archetype is represented on the canvas, the paper, the wood.
It is the woman with long, wavy/flowing hair who freezes a brief moment in a daily-like action or situation.
She lifts a child with hands, which seem too fragile to bear/ hold the weight of the child up. She sits on a windowsill her eyes resting on a point we can’t see what it is. She is somewhere in the twilight in a yellowish room a black bird on her one hand. She sits on a chair with a book on her lap, her eyes caught up by something which is moving behind the windows. She dreams about other places, other lives. She reads books. The woman on the painting reads books.
Nature is a culture. And vice versa. The trees bloom every spring. Inger Christensen was not sure whether it were poppies or embers from a fire she saw when she crossed/passed by the field – or the city’s playgrounds. Or was it the children’s voices, which yell with eagerness in the middle of the game, which turned into a sudden thunder?
We still don’t know. We just know that trees exist. Flowers exist. And children playing exist.
In André Lundquist’s body of work there is a consistent search after the duality between seriousness and play, where we don’t know whether the child on the painting likes to hang head down. Are they playing? The woman and child? Or is it serious? The innocence is removed/retrieved , so is concrete in everyday spaces, where kitchen cabinets teeming with vildvin and wreaths of evergreen plants, so one loses track of whether one is inside or outside. The home is not a home, literally. The walls turn over, tables are stacked, the floor is cleared, so that flowers can get space/room. Here they grow. In the middle of the room. Between women who lift children from the floors up, so poppies are allowed to grow larger. Here we are between children who open the windows so the birds can fly in and out and settle down in long flowing hair, even build nests behind the ears of the women who listen to the chirping song.
The method/process towards the material and the texture of André Lundquist are not danish. Luckily. He is in fact a visual artist who pushes his own livelihoods and dreams towards a place, where what is on paper and in the sketch book/pad seems like an unlikely impossibility which becomes possible with a blurred brush stroke that creates form, content and yes, materiality. He works in landscapes of duality where the land creates itself. And where cabinets and dresser drawers open up and reveal the dark secrets of unseen dreams.
Inger Christensen (1935-2009) created a room with his poetic approach to life, as she saw the other probabilities than the most. She wrote memoirs forward, in order not to forget them. But also very much to point them out to all of us, who apparently had long since forgotten that apricot trees are to be found/exist. It is often the artist fate to point out the real poetic fissures. We see them every day, but we’re oblivious and only sense them when we are made aware of their existence.
That room you cross everyday. The beauty lies in here. See it. Here it is. Use it. It is the tree that stands in your backyard or in your garden. It’s the Tree of Beauty . But it is also the tree that shades the sun, when it folds its leaves out at spring and reminds us of all the letters which are yet to be sent. It is the duality. And the conscience. But basically it is a tree that contains many stories in it, it is the good and the bad stories. It is the eye that sees to rate the tree’s handle.
André Lundquist’s works possess an insisting stubborness on poetry, which are no verbal disguises but characters who dream away to other spaces and opportunities. So that we as viewers remember exactly that those dreams also exist. Within us.
It is extremely interesting and relevant visual art work André Lundquist repeatedly presents to all of us carnal, mortal beings. It is life-affirming and casts long strings into what may be our dreams if we dream them. And dare dream them.
André Lundquist dreams. And paints. And dreams.
“The life, the air we breathe exist”
Inger Christensen wrote it. Now, we know it is true. Now we can see that spring is embodied by that sort of pictures. It is spring’s many stories André Lundquist tells us.
Now and then it snows in June. With – among others – white cherry blossoms.
Tomas Lagermand Lundme, author, playwrighter and artist, marts 2013
The development towards the “naked human being” already started when André Lundquist as a young man began to paint. He received training by the woman painter, Therese Dragshøj, in the end of the 1980s and had his first official exhibition in 1996. Exiting meetings with other artists and travels abroad have contributed to André Lundquist’s continued interest in the human being and its spiritual life.
The human figure has always been central in his artistic work. Through the years, however, the human figures have had various expressions. From cubistic slim figures to more full-bodied figures which were bodily and spiritually related. Today André Lundquist prefers the female body as primary subject in his paintings.
Transparency of the Figure
The female figures in the paintings are standing up, sitting in comfortable chairs, or lounged on the floor or in sofas. They are beautiful and sensual. Often with ebony black hair, porcelain white skin, and blushing cheeks. But they are not only a body. They are presented in “nakedness”, a spiritual state in which they are present here and now.
“The nakedness” is among other things expressed by the clear transparency of the body. Underneath the porous skin or in the pattern of the dress one senses the outlines of other figures, shapes and colours. These underlying subjects convey the spectator’s thoughts to dreams, memories, or existential reflections.
By his choice of subjects André Lundquist is obviously inspired by the painters of the central European modernism as for example Egon Schiele, Gustav Klimt, Emil Nolde, Vincent van Gogh, and Edvard Munch. But the use of materials, perspectives, positions, and compositions of post-modernism has set a mark on his paintings as well.
Energy of Colours
André Lundquist’s paintings are created at Vesterbro in Copenhagen and in his studio in the village of Boaryd in Sweden. The surroundings in the big city and in the countryside inspire him just as much as the modernistic and post-modernistic inheritance. He likes people in the streets of the city as well as the atmosphere of the studio in the old parish hall with the Swedish wilderness outside the windows
André Lundquist works with the dynamic and contrast between earthen colours and clear strong colours. Thus he creates the special energy and nerve that underline the beauty and spirituality of the figure. In this way André Lundquist is able to show us a glimpse of the human soul underneath the beautiful, but mortal body.
The Land Beneath For André Lundquist and Zura art history is not an arsenal of extinct isms which only have archaeological interest for experts or nostalgic value for the public interested in art. On the contrary. The great variety of eminent works which have appeared since the cave paintings are an inexhaustible source of inspiration.Rembrandt’s, Tizian’s, Poussin’s, or Cezanne’s works are not only mechanical expressions of the societal relations at the time of the artists, but reach beyond these as part of an internal creative process to which any artist must relate him- or herself and per definition is a part of. At all times the challenge has been to acknowledge the tradition of art history and at the same time to find oneself in the actual time of one’s living.André Lundquist and Zura are first and foremost interested in the artists and the styles prior to the break through of the non-figurative art in the years just after World War One. Both artists focus primarily on the human body in their paintings and try experimentally to find the right balance between feeling and stringency in the composition regardless of any popular trends and fashions.André Lundquist’s nearly one-dimensional paintings, the decorative winding outlines, the colours as well as the strong intensity point to artists from the different symbolic styles in the 1890s. The inspiration from the Danish painter J. F. Willumsen, Gauguin, Schiele and Klimt is obvious, but for André Lundquist the old painters are interlocutors and not unattainable icons.First and foremost André Lundquist is committed to the depths of the human mind. Having a special and extremely sense of the relation between people he tries to describe, intensely and honestly, love, empathy, and absence. Often one feels an almost religious influence in his paintings. A trust that art can make a difference.Zura’s approach to painting is more classical. Whether it is still life or groups of people, the composition is more plastic and the colours more realistic. The naturalism, however, is broken by the layers of colour and expressive strokes of the brush beyond and around the central group of figures. Thereby the immediately recognizable disappears in favour of a composition in which it is uncertain what is foreground, middle, and background.The effect often has a stroke of melancholy, when Zura in a whole series of paintings uses a portrait of his family. The well known faces disappear in a fog of dark colours and spontaneous strokes of the brush as if they are being dissolved in the shapeless subject. The painting thus becomes a sort of memory image where oblivion and presence are fighting about control, and the thin membrane between reality and dream is ready to burst.