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One of the best shows of the season at Gerald Peters Gallery: Steve Cope, Greta Gundersen and Susan Williams

March 5, 2012 blog

Gerald Peters Gallery in New York sounded an early opening and set the bar high for the New York art fair shows with three very different, artists, two of whom are outstanding. ....

A short while ago, I reread an old piece of art criticism which said that women shouldn’t be allowed to paint (professionally) because all they turn out are sentimental paintings of children. I wish that critic was still alive to see Greta's work.

Greta lives somewhere between abstraction, concept and realism. ....

Her abstract work is an internalization of something she feels about something she sees. It’s moody, haunting and both emotionally and visually stunning – and you want to live in that place. Ergo, you want to live with that painting, whether it’s a large single panel, a triptych, an unusual horizontal diptych or one of the small paintings. Her palette can be warm, driven by coppers and reds, or cool, immersed in greys, browns and
blues. In either case, the paintings draw you into a world of smoke, shadows and rolling clouds. I covet them all.

In sharp contrast are Greta’s small drawings of bats and birds, done in powdered graphite on paper. These are realistic impressions, reflections of these creatures. You will never like a bat as well as you like Greta’s drawing of a bat. ....


praise from Farrell Warner

(artist; Tustin, California), 2009

"Your evolution from figurative to landscape, and then on into pure atmospheric light, trembling between the abstract and representation, interests me a great deal.  I would have liked to soak in your studio for another hour or more, just to register and appreciate all the nuance, the subtle buildings and subtractions.  The relationships from painting to painting, and from very small to very large.” …

“I didn't find the words to tell you at the time, but I found yours remarkable: austere in their patient withholdings, alternately lovely and haunting."


praise from Alexander Chee

(Writer In Residence, Amherst College, Massachusetts), 2008

"When I look at this work I am reminded of those moments when I experience a paradox, a sense of being alone with my sensibilities and then also connected by them to the larger world."



praise from Frank Couvares

(collector, excerpted in full from an article on artist, Greta Gundersen, American Art Collector magazine, August 2006)

“I own two small paintings by Greta Gundersen and would love to own a big one. When I first saw her work I thought of Turner: other people see the Hudson Valley School. Beyond these sorts of echos, Greta’s paintings
are sui generis. They invite you to come back and look at them over and over again. They are open and mysterious at the same time – and always beautiful. I call one ‘the creation of the universe’ and, as many times as I look at it, I see more.”


praise from Sylvia Benitez,


(artist and founder of the Gentileschi Aegis Gallery Association, San Marcos, Texas), 2008

"Luminous, minimal, consistent, powerful, gorgeous are adjectives one associates with beauty. The most written about and elusive concept we have, intuitively it is vastly recognized.  Classically beautiful, yet modern, Gundersen's oils of obfuscated vanishing points capture light and hearken the viewer to be still, look, feel, respond.  While viewing this masterful work it is not uncommon for one to experience a powerful emotional sensation, a response which perhaps is found most commonly in the awe we experience while seeing the majesty of natural phenomenon.  Simply put, Gundersen is able to capture the grandness of sky and water without diminishing or trivializing it.” …

“Professionally, I have not seen in the field, contemporary work as
gorgeously crafted as hers or work which so acutely provokes the exhilaration of multiple conflicting emotional responses of joy, pain, loss, awe and humility.  These are captured in a truly artistic deliverance of tone, light, blur and color."


praise from T.C. Ebarb

(reviewer, excerpted in full from the article From Lake Erie to Now, at the Islip Art Museum, New YorkThe Bulletin, April 13, 2000)

“ … Greta Gundersen’s Turner-like series Vanishing Point  ... evoke a spiritual and emotional sense of longing for vanishing ideals.  Gundersen’s oil paintings draw the viewer in to search for something ethereal in the distance.  One is left to wonder if there truly is something in the distance.”



Telegram & Gazette

(from the review titled Glories of Nature: a strong exhibit by Frank Magiera, Telegram & Gazette,May 31, 1996. group exhibit Space, Nature and the Sublime at the ARTS, Worcester Gallery, MA)

“Perhaps the most dramatic pieces in the gallery are Gundersen’s four small oil landscapes, called Fictions of the Heart.  The curators describe her work as being “Turneresque” and that is indeed the first comparison most viewers are likely to make. Still there are obviously some depths yet to be plumbed from this familiar style and Gundersen accomplishes this nicely as she finds her way somewhere between the literal and abstract with swirling whirlpools of color and eruptions of light.”



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