Works from 2009


EROS: On Elizabeth Romhild's recent paintings.

Elizabeth Romhild's recent paintings condense a number of art-historical modes and methods in terms of an exuberant eroticism. Shades of the baroque, romanticism, fauvism and expressionism dance across her heavily-painted and richly-colored surfaces and sometimes she employs chiaroscuro. Sensual forms emerge and meld to form a landscape of the human body and the paintings manage to be monumental yet intimate.

Romhild's current concerns are with Eros: states of desire and the power desire may hold. States of desire are felt physically and produce a certain energy. Moreover, Eros has a dark underside. Romhild uses paint as a proxy for skin and engages a profound sense of touch. However, an ethereal light occasionally glows from her paintings and this light offsets the decadently dark tones of Romhild's palette. Looking at these paintings we enter a world of light and dark, of revelation and experience. We now know what it means to understand and feel the pleasures of sensuality. Her robust forms defy specification in terms of categories of gender and sexuality and stand for universal considerations of the condition of ‘being' in our bodies, as our bodies feel and express.

Romhild's practice as a painter has manifold historical precedents, which she expertly suggests while offering an innovative spin on the conventions of these precedents. In particular, she radically engages a tradition of art by women that addresses relations of sexuality, femininity and desire; from the innate eroticism of Artemisia Gentileschi through to the iconicity of Georgia O'Keeffe and Audrey Flack and, in more contemporary terms, the dynamism of Grace Hartigan and Jenny Saville. . Like all great artists, however, Elizabeth Romhild's output is not reducible to references. Her paintings will always emerge as more than we ever thought we know.


Brian Curtin
Art critic based in Bangkok

 

"Zen"
80x80cm
Oil on canvas



"ILLUMINE"
80x100cm
Oil on canvas

"WHITE SATIN"
120x110cm
Oil on canvas



"SUNSET"
80x100cm
Oil on canvas



"INCUBUS"
110x120cm
Oil on canvas

"MOAN"
85x160cm
Oil on canvas

"RED DRESS"
120x85cm
Oil on canvas

"FROST"
76x98cm
Oil on canvas

"CHIOCE"
110x130cm
Oil on canvas

"EQUILIBRIUM"
170x170cm
Oil on canvas

"EROS"
200x210cm
Oil on canvas

"SUCCUBUS"
140x195cm
Oil on canvas