Art Talks: The Dark World of Light | Karen Gunderson, Michael Brenson | An Artist Dialogue Series Event

Event Details

FREE — Seating starts at 5:30PM.

Celebrating the publication of Karen Gunderson: The Dark World of Light, the acclaimed artist discusses her unique contribution to contemporary art with critic and art historian Michael Brenson. 

Widely collected in Hollywood and New York, artist Karen Gunderson is best known for her work since the 1980s, when she transitioned from painting in color to working only in black. Over her forty-plus-year career, Gunderson has tackled subjects from clouds to royalty to the cosmos. Her long-developed, labor intensive technique employs a range of black shades that create a unique three-dimensional effect.

Tracing the life and career of the artist, Karen Gunderson: The Dark World of Light is written by author and critic Elizabeth Frank, who won the Pulitzer Prize for her biography of poet Louise Bogan and is the author of a number of books on art. 

Art lovers and artists interested in Gunderson’s painting technique discover captivating works in this book—in more than 100 illustrations—that shows how the artist pushes the limits to what one can do with black paint. While abstract artists of the past, including Ad Reinhardt and Pierre Soulages, have employed black paint, Gunderson has set herself apart from this lineage.

Advance copies of the book Karen Gunderson: The Dark World of Light (Abbeville Press, 2016) are available for purchase and signing at the end of the event.

Waterhouse and Dodd is pleased to present the exhibition Karen Gunderson: Moments Past and Present featuring a range of works spanning her forty-plus-year career. On view at 960 Madison Avenue from October 6-29, 2016.

Karen Gunderson is a widely collected, New York-based artist. With a career of over forty years, Gunderson is best known for her paintings composed entirely in black that both critics and collectors alike have praised as a unique contribution to contemporary art. Gunderson's work has been included in more than eighty group exhibitions and been the subject of over forty solo exhibitions in the United States and abroad, including Circulo de Bellas Artes in Spain and the National Museum of Bahrain. She has distinguished herself not only with her use of figurative subjects, but also the way her works radiate a quiet optimism—a sharp contrast with her dark medium. Having obtained an MA in Painting and an MFA in Intermedia, Gunderson has taught in multiple organizations including the Chicago Art Institute and the Maryland Institute College of Art. Among many other publications, she has been featured in The New York Times, Art in America, Christian Science Monitor, New York Magazine, and ARTnews.

Plate 105, Dunesmith Brambles, 2014, Oil on linen, 60 x 60 inches, Collection of the artist
Plate 105, Dunesmith Brambles, 2014, Oil on linen, 60 x 60 inches, Collection of the artist

Michael Brenson is an art critic and art historian. He received a Ph.D. in art history from Johns Hopkins University and was an art writer for The New York Times from 1982 to 1991. His publications include Visionaries and Outcasts: The NEA, Congress, and the Place of the Visual Artist in America (2001) and Acts of Engagement: Writings on Art, Criticism, and Institutions, 1993–2002 (2004). He is a Getty scholar, Guggenheim Fellow, Bogliasco Fellow and Clark Fellow. He is writing a biography of David Smith that will be published by Farrar Straus and Giroux.

Initiated and organized by Arezoo Moseni in 2004, Artist Dialogues Series provide an open forum for understanding and appreciation of contemporary art. Artists are paired with critics, curators, gallerists, writers or other artists to converse about art and the potential of exploring new ideas. 

The event is free and advanced registration is recommended. 

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