With broad, gestural strokes, contemporary painter Vidvuds Zveidris transforms the canvas into a minefield of explosive color. Zveidris covers every inch of available surface by criss-crossing and overlapping bands of acrylic paint. The scale of Zveidris’ work bears an immediacy and monumentality that can be most readily described as sublime.
In a dizzying mixture of allusions to the natural world and to art historical canon, Zveidris elicits a transcendent beauty through his powerfully dynamic brushstrokes, making use of a full spectrum of contrasting colors. Comparisons to abstract expressionists of the mid-20th century like Helen Frankenthaler or Morris Louis might initially spring to mind as Zveidris wields a masterfully cool and controlled hand over the materials and the surface of the canvas. Perhaps more similar to Gustav Klimt’s gilded forests of birch trees, Zveidris’ landscape paintings are neither fully figurative nor fully abstract. As in the experience of being between one’s dreams and waking life, Zveidris’ work feels both real and illusory simultaneously, with figures dancing in and out of the picture plane. In several paintings, bodies seem to emerge just as quickly as they disappear behind layers of geometric pattern and long, thick stripes of paint. With the expansiveness of the works’ scale, this dance plays out over and over again in a symphony of color and undefined, unrestrained, unexplored depths.
Zviedris states “My paintings are continuous exploration of possibilities within the tradition of painting. They are part landscapes, part deliberate selection of my subconscious. It is through heavy layering and sanding that these images reveal themselves and are just as much about the end result as they are about the process. By constantly removing layer upon layer each painting retains and loses its own history gradually arriving at a harmonious resolution and gets entrapped in its final image. My goal is painting done without conscious effort, image that arises by balancing all that I know and have learned versus pure instinct."