Deborah Luken

Deborah Luken
Born 1949, New York

Deborah Luken has shown extensively in the New York metropolitan area, and has had work at the Delaware Art Museum and the Heckscher Museum of Art. Her work has been reviewed on numerous occasions by the New York Times. She is a graduate of the Parsons School of Design’s Master of Fine Arts Program, in Painting.

“I articulate the roots of abstraction that are embedded in the core of representation. Patterns repeat themselves. Not just within the individual pattern, but a pattern can take on many incarnations. These pattern relationships can be seen throughout the visible world, tying together seemingly unrelated things. The human brain is able to discern the differences between all of these repeating patterns, the waves of the ocean and the waves in the sand have the same pattern, and yet they are so easy to tell apart. Looking at the differences and the similarities that patterns contain, such as those that appear in tree roots or branches as they relate to the patterns of the internal systems of humans and the patterns sent back by the Hubble Telescope of the outer reaches of the universe, there appears a striking resemblance between all three, yet there are undeniable and huge differences. As these patterns are deciphered as to where the similarities occur and where they deviate, there is a narrow corridor where they become one, that is what I paint. This interconnectedness is the catalyst that I use to probe into ideas on the human condition. Water is the most destructive force on our planet, but without water life would not exist. This dichotomy was placed in my path by Superstorm Sandy. The patterns created by incoming and outgoing water, are the patterns of destruction. The life affirming qualities of water resounds in the ability to regenerate and grow. These patterns contain elements of each other in a symbiotic cycle.

Words set up a structure that allows navigation through time, concept, context and point of view. The visualization of the various manifestations that are possible with words reaches hard into the archeology of how they are perceived, interpreted, and ultimately utilized. Each of the words that appear in these images are charged with a full component of the complexity of meaning, through color, composition, the very physicality of the paint itself, each word settles into an isolation of significance. Although I use words in my daily life, they had not appeared in my work until recently when they popped up and demanded recognition on the picture plane.”

Deborah Luken, Exigent, 2009, oil on canvas, 50 x 50". Courtesy of the artist.

Deborah Luken image courtesy of WACH.
Artwork image courtesy of Stephen Luken.