Svenja Deininger

Through an arduous process that involves repetitive coating, scraping, varnishing, and stripping, Svenja Deininger achieves richly-layered paintings that contemplate the contrasts between harmony and dissonance, subtlety and bravado. Her style calls to mind several defining developments of post-war painting — namely Color Field abstraction and Minimalism — but she rejects the austerity championed by the stalwarts of these movements, and even hesitates to identify her work as pure abstraction. Seductive curves, such as the nose-like shape seen in several of the paintings in this exhibition, populate Deininger’s imagery, while slight imperfections interrupt otherwise precisely-rendered lines. At times, she opts for heavy application of her pigments, creating visually dense sections of canvas that offset more loosely-painted areas, where colors bleed into one another.

Deininger likens installations of her paintings to written sentences. Like an individual word, each painting comes with its own meaning; however, it is within the context of an exhibition that new relationships emerge among her canvases. In developing her installation for the compact Riley CAP Gallery, Deininger emphasized the importance of positioning works from different years and of varying scale in proximity to one another. In this intimate setting, viewers can draw connections from one work to the next, across several years of this young artist’s career.

What's Pictured: Svenja Deininger (born 1974, Vienna, Austria), Untitled, 2017, oil on canvas, 11 x 8 1/4 in., Collection of Kelly Padden and Mathias Kessler, courtesy of Circa 1881

The Karen and Doug Riley Contemporary Artists Project Gallery

A 500-square-foot space in the Scott Pavilion suite of galleries, the Riley CAP Gallery showcases nationally- and internationally-recognized artists, as well as emerging talent, selected by Joslyn curators. A rotating schedule of intimate, carefully focused exhibitions will examine how artists engage with the world and respond to the issues that challenge them creatively, bringing new perspectives on contemporary art to Nebraska.

Riley CAP Gallery artists will be invited to Joslyn for lectures and other public programs, giving audiences the opportunity to gain insight into creative processes and contribute to an expanded dialogue about new art. The first Joslyn gallery dedicated exclusively to living artists, the Riley CAP Gallery represents an important step in making contemporary art an even more integral component of the Museum’s exhibition programming.