Guldbeck’s ‘Presence’ displayed in New York gallery
BOWLING GREEN, O.—Among the lush and leafy hills of upstate New York, painter Mille Guldbeck has found a compatible forum in which to share her art — or rather the forum has found her. An associate professor of art at Bowling Green State University, Guldbeck last year received support to create a body of work to be shown at Locust Grove in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. — the 19th-century country estate of Samuel Morse, portrait painter, founder of the National Academy of Design and inventor of the telegraph and the Morse Code. His estate today is a museum, gallery and nature preserve.
“Presence,” Guldbeck’s solo show of paintings and works on paper, is now on display in the gallery. She will give a talk on Nov. 12 discussing her artistic vision and the exhibit.
“It has been an absolute pleasure to exhibit her work and we are looking forward to her public talk. Her work honors the tradition of Morse and landscape painting,” said Ursula Morgan, curator of public programs at Locust Grove. “The solo shows allow us to present a full body of work and for viewers to get a cohesive sense of the artist’s style.”
Home of the Hudson River School of painting, which focused on nature, upstate New York is in many ways the perfect setting for Guldbeck, whose work is based in landscape but not its literal representation. She draws upon images of geological and biological forms as source material and has long felt an affinity for the German Romantic School of painting, which expresses the terrifying smallness of the human in the vastness of nature, along with a strong sense of the sublime.
“The Hudson River painters were also dealing with that idea of the sublime and how humans could be overwhelmed by nature,” Guldbeck said.
“I am engaged in a continuing dialogue surrounding the relevance of creating the handmade in a culture defined by the digital,” she said. In her latest series, she has looked to star charts and maps of various types to consider humans’ attempts to delineate their world, taking it one step further removed through her painting. The pieces also reflect her interest in pattern and randomness.
“Perception, or the ability to really see something, is the first requirement for caring about it. My ongoing purpose is to prolong the act of looking; facilitating the understanding that what may initially seem to be random actually serves intention,” she wrote in her artist statement.
(Posted November 10, 2011 )