Madeleine Bialke’s supernatural landscape paintings are surrealistic depictions of ecological disaster

In “Long Summer”, which was informed about Bialke’s time in the Adirondacks during the first summer of the pandemic, there are only three paintings showing people. IN Charmed life (2020), a young woman sleeping in bed pushed forward by a tree as blue as a flame of pure oxygen. The same shade of blue reappears in the trees in Three sisters (2021) and Three seasons (2021), and in the body of the figure in Two August in a row (2021) sitting alone by a window and staring out into the woods outside.

IN Two identical (2021) a woman stands to the left of a giant tree and stares, as if delighted, at its monumental trunk. These two living beings – one with bark; the other skin – share a glowing shade of pale gold. In the real world, none of them could shine in such a way, but through painting, Bialke asks: Who emits light and who absorbs it? The scene has a disturbing silence, devoid of realism, without dirt, plants or soil. Some obscure magic is on its way in the country. Bialke evens out the details and gives us environments that are too foreign to exploit.

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