Shades of Solitude

By: Sebastian Johans
Galleri Strömbom, Sylvia Naimark (until 03/04/05)

"Sylvia Naimark's paintings manage to be both discreet and powerful. The works exhibited at Galleri Strömbom clearly show that painting is an indispensable way of commenting on the world around us.

There is an old chestnut about painting that if something can be said in another way, there is no point in painting it. There has to be a degree of artistic necessity in a work of art that is executed with paint on a flat surface. This is confirmed by Sylvia Naimark's oils that are on display at Galleri Strömbom, one of Uppsala's most reliable art galleries.
Sylvia Naimark's paintings inhabit the minimal exhibition space of the gallery in a way that powerfully refutes the tiresome, recurring suggestion that painting is dead, to stay with the art clichés.
In eight paintings, which are dominated by the same shades of greyish blue and brown in thin washes, the viewer becomes part of something like a paradoxically fast or instantaneous slow motion shot.
There is a mournful undertone. The figures in the pictures emerge from the hazy colour in stylised or sketchy form and seem alone even when they are in groups. Even in a painting that depicts a round dance, the figures stand together without making contact. Their upstretched hands are met with no real response. They are not apathetic. They are isolated, perhaps even alienated.

There are few artists with the ability to be as equally unobtrusive and powerfully emotionally explicit as Sylvia Naimark."