Sunday, November 29, 2015

Eve Mansdorf

Eve Mansdorf Backyard Oil on linen, 46 X 64″,

Another leading observational painter is Eve Mansdorf who shows at the Gallery Henoch in Chelsea. (no direct link available from this website – look under the artists) Eve studied in Grad school at the Brooklyn College in 1990 with Lennart Anderson and whose amazing gifts of seeing and responding to color from nature has passed on in her work as well. She now teaches painting herself at the Indiana University at Bloomington.

She states in her CV “I am interested in the British painters, the Coldstream tradition, Uglow, but I am also interested in artists such as Balthus, Freud, Paula Rego who are doing something else. I am interested in Fairfield Porter and the Bay Area painters. I am interested in Dickinson and Lennart Anderson.”

Eve Mansdorf Haircut, Oil on linen, 84 X 74″

Her color sensibility, particularity in her interiors and still life, draws me in initially where the fullness and truth of the color hits both the exact color needed to establish the form, light, as well as mood and drama. But it is her compositional organization of elements, their subtle geometric and linear relations that keep me staying engaged within the painting.

I love what she says in her statement about measuring “I do measure and find it is a way of keeping a painting fresh and open because my measurements are always changing and I am continually reestablishing them. Also measuring is a way of creating relationships in a painting. It is not an ethos with me and I find that at some point measurements don’t work and intuition takes over. Identifying key color or value relationships, developing a sense of light, paying attention to edges and a good sense of touch are as important as measuring. On a painting that takes a long time I feel there is a gradual accretion of decisions and perceptions and a density accrues that is more than the sum of its parts (hopefully). Link to full statement.

Eve Mansdorf Eye, Oil on linen, 60 X 42″

What really make Eve Mansdorf interesting is not just her strength and lyricism of her paint handling but the fact she combines it so well with psychological narratives. Not many figurative painters combine this as well as her. The fact she has a BA in psychology from Cornell perhaps works to her advantage as does her stated interest in Paula Rego, Balthaus and Lucian Freud.

In addition to her gallery Henoch website, more can be seen of her earlier work on Maureen Mullarkey’s site Studio Matters.
Here is a link to a blog, mwcapacity, for another post from 2/08 and great discussion of her work that may be of interest.

Eve Mansdorf

I found this image online ( ) that clearly seems to be one of her works but it didn’t give a title or any other information other than being Eve Mansdorf. It was such a wonderful painting I thought I might rescue it from database obscurity.

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16 Responses to “Eve Mansdorf”
  1. chris says:

    I had that last image, with title intact, saved on a hard drive that has long since crashed. Seems like its “Wednesdays with Elif” or something like.

    To me what’s great about Mansdorf’s painting is how much geniune curiosity seems to be part of her practice—toward the perceived world and toward the work of other artists whose work interests her. These paintings never get stiff from ‘mastering’ a subject and always maintain the excitement of ‘learning about’. A hard thing to do.

    PS Thanks for the link.

  2. painting says:

    Chris, great comment on Mansdorf’s work, thanks.

    You have a terrific blog by the way – lots of engaging comments and posts.

  3. s says:

    Just looking at this painting makes me feel bored.

    • Larry says:

      that’s too bad S – all her paintings do that to you or one in particular? What would liven it up for you?

  4. The last painting (untitiled) really shows Uglow’s influence (especially on the figure). Great use of cast shadows as compositional design. Wonderful work.

    • Larry - admin says:

      I think I can see some Balthus in the last untitled painting as well. Thanks for you comment Alia. I just checked out your website, terrific work with the figure and still life you are doing. Your blog is also quite interesting. I will contact you at some point to see if you would be ok with me doing an article here about your work – maybe ask you a few questions in an interview format.

  5. s says:

    Sorry, painting, I meant the feeling in the last piece. Don’t get me wrong it is nicely composed, great technique, beautiful lighting and drawing, however, the subject is boring, especially the girls pose, it’s just not interesting.

  6. Belinda says:

    Thanks for writing this post.. I just discovered Eve M recently, and I’m quite taken with her work. The painting Backyard, and two others titled Kiddie Pool & Mirth are just wonderful. I’ve looked for a web site (other than her galleries) to see more direct info from the artist, as well as more of her art. I’d love to see some of her sketches and studies. Her color, and the geometry of her compositions appear planned, but painterly. And I love the autobiographical nature of her subjects. There’s narrative in her brush strokes. I hope to see her work in person one of these days. She’s one hell of an artist.

    • Larry says:

      Thanks for your comment Belinda, Eve Mansdorf is indeed amazing. Perhaps I will see when her next showing will be and if she might agree to an interview about her work sometime.

  7. I was scrolling the internet today looking for information on Stuart Shils as I plan to attend one of his lectures in the near future. Under the figure painting I noticed a painting by Eve Mansdorf that you wished to rescue from database obscurity. It resides in the living room of a friend, a fellow painter named Karen Kinser. I sent her a link to your site and perhaps she can fill you in on it. She also owns two Philip Geiger’s. Her daughter was one of his models when she attended UVA. I really enjoyed your site. Jenny Windsor

    • Larry says:

      Thanks Jenny! Great to have another kindred spirit visiting. I peeked at your website, some great paintings you’re making. Good luck on the Stuart Shils lecture, I’ve heard he leads some great workshops in Provincetown, one of the people who often comments here, David Marshall, has had some good things to say about Shils workshop.

  8. Karen Kinser says:

    This painting is part of my personal “collection”. I appreciate the restful quality of Mansdorf’s work. I don’t find it “boring” at all.

    However, in defense of boring . . . enough of life these days is over-stimulating and totally crazy-making. I purchased this painting, for the very reason that it offers a respite from the onslaught of the digital age. I, too, am a figurative painter and love Eve Mansdorf’s approach to the figure, finding her connections with the past and the future of “the figure in art” to be very relevant . . . . however “boring” the subject matter.

    Slowing down “to ponder”, and to day-dream is the very stuff that ART is made of.

    • Larry says:

      Thanks for your great comment Karen, I agree with what you are saying here except I would say the Mansdorf’s painting stimulates me to want to paint!! I envy your owning that Mansdorf painting.

  9. Jared says:

    As a former model of Eve’s I can’t stress enough the respect that I have for her work. She puts an amazing amount of effort into all that she does and it’s simply brilliant to watch her compositions unfold in real time.

    Her works contain a sort of language that’s naturally and spontaneously interpretable, something immediately and profoundly knowable, I think this is what makes them such a respite and such a pleaser to ponder. A sort of pleasureable ‘deja vue’, almost.

  10. Zach says:

    I had Eve at IU and I can still hear her in the back of my head when I paint. Great teacher, amazing painter. I luckily own a portrait study she did of me, one of my prized possessions. Thanks for your blog!!!

  11. Matt Pinney says:

    I also am an IU alum and loved Eve as a teacher and a painter. It’s been a while since I’ve seen any of her painting but these remind me what an incredible sense of the ethereal she has. Thanks for posting.

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