Persona August, 26th 2021 by

World Fine Art Professionals and their Key-Pieces, 329 - Carla Lensen

carla lensen – 1-

World Fine Art Professionals and their Key-Pieces, 329 – Carla Lensen
I recently saw the work of Carla Lensen at the Open Ateliers Ruilstraat. I saw a lot of colorful patterns, it looked festive. A few days later I spoke to Carla in her studio about her paintings.
She has put several of them side by side on the floor. One of them a painting of a circle that turns in different colors to a small white point. It looks like a tornado. It turns out to be her first oil painting, made in the year 2000. “I drew ‘Eye of the world’ using a CAD program on the computer and then painted it with oil on canvas.”

carla lensen – 2

At that time she was working as an architectural designer. This architectural background is reflected in various works. “In ‘Eye of the world’ you see a diverging/converging repeating pattern based on the Golden Ratio. The white dot in the middle can be either the end or the beginning.” The pattern continues beyond the canvas, we see this in more of her works.

carla lensen – 3

How would she describe her theme? Carla: “It’s about connection. In my work I reflect reality as I experience it. I think in life everything is connected and I show that in my work.”
In 2008 she started her series ‘Worlds’. “I connected images that came to my mind at a certain moment with a continuous line. This created a repeating pattern. These patterns together formed a larger drawing that I then colored with paint. That drawing repeated itself, but not the color layer.”

carla lensen – 5

Different cycles overlapped. “The layers of color were like a river between the lines. It was something unique, a new find. I had never seen it before. It has also received international attention.”
In her paintings she currently visualizes a mental space in which she investigates the connection between culture and nature.
Why is connection important to her? Carla: “The theme is important to me because I experience many broken connections. People who do not understand each other, the climate crisis and our difficult relationship with nature is also about disconnections.”

carla lensen – 6-

Key work
Does she have a key work? She has three. The first is already discussed: ‘Eye of the world’. The second key work is ‘World 2’. She points to it. I see birds in repeating patterns. “In this work I used for the first time the non-simultaneous repetition of continuous line drawing and continuous areas of color.”
Her third key work is a triptych, ‘Diffuse’. “In this I painted two non-simultaneously repeating patterns through each other, creating new unplanned intersections. One pattern has references to nature and the other to culture.”

carla lensen – 7

The repeating patterns are inspired by cycles of nature, such as the successive seasons, day and night, etc. “I use the figurative, together with the abstract, to express my feelings. The element of surprise is great. There is a bit of coincidence and there is planning. You can bend it by painting. You can call my painting style lyrical abstract.”

carla lensen – 8

Sunny places
She often uses bright colors. This appears to have been facilitated by many foreign stays in sunny places with stays in artist residences and group exhibitions, among others in India, Argentina, Colombia, Romania, Cyprus, Turkey, Haiti, Austria, Cuba and the US. “We often worked outside. I looked at the work of the others. That inspired me and was reflected in the bright use of color.”
Working on location always took a few weeks. “It was always well taken care of. We dined and sometimes local figures were among them. I remember the mayors in Cyprus. I got to places I would never have gone otherwise. You see what the life of artists is like there. In Haiti in 2013, we were in the mountains far from the city. The exhibition was guarded by guards with machine guns, the journey to the art space in the city was with police escort.”

carla lensen – 9

In Latin America, she worked on life-size murals, alongside muralists from Mexico. “That’s where it comes from, from Mexico with painters like Diego Rivera, Jose Orozco and David Siquieros. In Buenos Aires I made two murals at the invitation of Movimiento Muralista Argentina. My fellow painters came from, among others, Mexico, Argentina, Peru and Colombia.” The Argentine group invited her to work on a mural in Cuba. She shows me the work in progress, with the 15 meter high scaffolding in front of it, on which the artists worked.
The Colombians invited her to the Bienal Internacional de Muralismo y Arte Público Colombia. About 30 muralists were invited. In a metro station she made a colorful work – green, orange, blue. I see the picture. This work and the others are now part of ‘MULI Museo Libre de Arte Publico de Colombia, Cali’. “Every now and then I get a message. My painting is a favorite place where people take pictures of each other.”

carla lensen – 11-

How long has she been an artist? “Since 2001. Before that I worked as an architectural designer. I have a bachelor’s degree in Architecture. I then obtained a bachelor’s degree at the Royal Academy of Art KABK in The Hague and a master’s degree at the HKU University of the Arts in Utrecht. I also obtained a teaching qualification at the Willem de Kooning Academy WdKA in Rotterdam.”
As an architectural designer, she was inspired by the Suprematism and geometric abstraction of the painters Kazimir Malevich, Lyubov Popova and the architect Zaha Hadid.
As an artist, she was further inspired by the lyrical abstraction of Wassily Kandinsky, Robert and Sonia Delauney, the Jugendstil, the imaginary dungeons of Giovanni Battista Piranesi and the pattern designs of William Morris.

carla lensen – 12

Color areas with movement and space
We sum it up. Carla: “I combine areas of color and the suggestion of movement and space in pattern paintings that seem to expand infinitely outside the canvas. In my paintings I visualize a mental space, in which usually architectural and natural elements are given a place and enter into a relationship, in combination with forms that I add intuitively.”
1) Diffuse redyellow 2019, 2) Diffuse greenred 2019, 3) Connected 2020, 4) Eye of the world 2000, 5) Turning point 2021, 6) mural Fiesta del Fuego, Cuba 2010, 7) mural Melody of Cali, Colombia 2012, 8) mural World 22 Dance, Argentina 2009, 9) World 9 LineGoldBlue, Cyprus 2008, 10) World 16 GreenRed 2008

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