The meditative fecundity of Linda Vredeveld's paintings is produced by their rich simplicity, a simplicity abundant with allusions. The paradox in her artwork is difficult to name and define without becoming tautological; the paintings are so pared down that descriptions of what they do, their meaning, start to seem redundant, repetitious. How does she do this, create this paradox of abundant simplicity? Painted grounds that are the subtly vibrant colors of bird's eggs with paint that is dragged and dabbed, barely covering thin pencil lines that measure out the space. Gracefully fluid marks float over and weave through this ground like Japanese ink wash drawings or the delicate knots and threads of embroidery. These are sensual lines, and the thrill of their materiality arrives in an awareness of the hand, the touch and texture of a surface that is a blur of fussy detail and messy culture. Here is touch and its relationship to both intentionality and chance. Nature's markings, freckles, and spots, and a calm sexual sureness in the shapes, touch and are touched by carefully calculated space. They are images of unbounded fertility and restraint.

Timothy van Laar

Professor of Painting, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

ISPACE Gallery, Chicago

May 9, 2003