Rita Lundqvist


Often a novel or a collection of short stories can make you imagine the illustrations that would suit the text. The fourteen paintings (all 2016) in Rita Lundqvist’s show have a similar, yet opposite, effect: you can’t help but wonder what narratives might accompany these mysterious oils on panel. The inscrutable paintings almost seem linked because they have so much in common: smallish, perfectly square dimensions; a subdued palette of mostly grays, blues, and greens; a depiction of at least one figure dressed in plain, vaguely old-fashioned clothing. But no characters recur, and no story emerges. Instead you are left peering into flat, lightly populated landscapes, wondering why the woman in Bird/Fågel stands alone in the woods, staring at a bird, and whether you should be concerned about the way the barefoot man in Moon/Måne, awkwardly handles his half-dressed companion. —Leigh Anne Miller


Pictured: Rita Lundqvist: Hole/Hål, 2016, oil on panel, 19 by 19 inches. Courtesy Tanya Bonakdar, New York.