LA-based Lisa Solberg paints with bold colorful strokes that convey elements of mystery that evoke an otherworldly spirituality. Her large-scale works reveal passion and intensity through layers upon layers of paint. After the success of her fishbowl-inspired “24HR PSYCHIC” gallery show of reflective canvases created with car paint, Solberg turned her attention to a more natural palette for “Cry Wolf” at Munich’s Super+ Centercourt Gallery.
When the gallery approached her about doing a show, Solberg found the idea to be an intriguing way to follow up on concepts explored at her own experimental gallery space. “I love to see the different subcultures forming here in Munich, since most of the attention seems to be on Berlin,” she tells CH. For the exhibition, she worked in residency with other artists. “Working in nature here was so beautiful; the spot I found to paint actually ended up being a natural water source which is deemed as holy.”
Living in LA’s downtown Arts District, Solberg doesn’t often spend much time in quiet natural settings. That urban industrial environment has provided inspiration and driven her work for many years, but recently she longed a breath of fresh air. “I needed a quieter muse in order to access something beyond myself,” she explains.
She named the show “Cry Wolf” to push herself to a place she never explored and test how far it would take her—the plan was to paint in the wild with the goal of creating pulsing pieces, which would aspire to their natural setting. “I’ve never gone to nature for inspiration, but instead always used nature as a balance for my erratic, excessively active and exhausting process,” she says.
In the end—due to weather and technical challenges—she was able to paint only one work in nature while the rest took shape back in her studio. “The title metamorphosed for me into something literally referring to the dramatic and extreme quality of not only my efforts, but of nature itself,” she says. The pieces examine Solberg’s powerful experience of spending time in the woods, exploring both its beauty and its ferociousness.
Solberg captured the process of creating the colorful mixed media works for “Cry Wolf” on a GoPro camera, chronicling everything from her immersion in nature to the installation and show opening. She also made a layered audio loop of the sound of the water that was around her while painting. “GoPro cameras have such a fantastic capability to hide themselves but always capture the shot,” she shares. The idea to film was sparked by a canoe trip she took in Canada before heading to Munich. During the journey Solberg asked a ranger if she would see a wolf. The ranger replied, “They will always see you, but you will never see them.”
Next Solberg is planning another 24HR PSYCHIC show before the end of the year, as well as a few installation projects: “I am keen on creating environments right now for people to lose themselves and access a sort of metaphysical realm. I’m not sure which show is coming next, but one of them involves pole dancers and one involves a mosh pit.”
“Cry Wolf” is be on view at Super+ Centercourt Gallery through 12 October 2014.
Images courtesy of Lisa Solberg and Bernhard Lend