Transformed Spaces – Sharon Lindenfeld in the StudioMarch 26, 2019
To see the world through Sharon Lindenfeld’s eyes is to be immersed in abstract and dreamlike landscapes: airy, vaguely familiar, and expansive. Over the past 12 years Sharon has worked primarily as a printmaker ruminating over the motif of stylized landscapes as a way to connect to the natural world in altered, flattened, and distilled forms.
“I characterize a lot of my work as daydreams, as mental landscapes – make believe places bound in reality but far from it because it’s so abstracted,” Sharon explains, “When making decisions about placement of drawings, and what colors to use, I apply a weird daydream logic, this way nothing feels random though it’s not realistic.”
For as long as she can remember Sharon wanted to be an artist. In her childhood, she spent large amounts of time drawing and painting but it wasn’t until her college years that she discovered printmaking, a medium she has been enamored with since. Connecting deeply with her understanding of space and development of tone, Sharon quickly took to the aquatint technique. In her process, she often starts with an observational drawing or a photograph as a source image, and proceeds to transform familiar representations into abstract forms. Naturally drawn to form and composition as opposed to recognizable imagery, Sharon experiments in the printing process by reworking the plates and playing with color, often shifting the scale and position of the elements pulled from her source imagery.
“I started out doing portraits of people and quickly realized when I was printing that I was not interested in their expressions or their personalities, I was interested in all the lines, and the colors and the shapes and the tones. All the formal and abstract qualities. It just really fit.”
During her 5 week Art-in-Education Workspace Residency, Sharon experimented on three of her previously etched plates. She pushed them further into abstraction by clarifying some distracting elements, and strengthening the relationships between separate vignettes on the plate.
“I’ve heard people say about my work–in both good and bad ways–that there were several separate pockets, and I think about this a lot. I now know that this is how I think, so the ongoing challenge is to figure out how to tie it all together through working and reworking the plate.”
As she continues to develop her own visual language through residencies, working as a studio assistant for master printmakers, and as an art instructor, Sharon hopes to never lose the serendipity and problem solving that have been characteristic of her practice.
“When I was starting out a lot of things would happen by accident and I would go with them, I would work with it, and as I have gotten more technically proficient, I still try to put myself in positions where I could still make mistakes and have happy accidents happen again. If I stay doing what I know then it gets boring, and I am trying to keep the spontaneity going.”
Sharon Lindenfeld earned her MFA in Printmaking from Indiana University-Bloomington and Bachelor degrees from Dartmouth College and The Art Institute of Chicago. Over the past 12 years Sharon has worked primarily as a printmaker on personal projects and as an assistant to Master printers such as Greg Burnet and Bob Blanton, where she worked on editions for artists such as Julie Mehretu, Mickalene Thomas, Alex Katz, Chuck Close, KAWS, and Sean Scully. Her prints have been exhibited at several venues nationally and internationally including Paia Contemporary Gallery (Maui, Hawai’i); SRISA Gallery of Contemporary Art (Florence, Italy); the International Print Center, New York; and the Liu Haisu Art Museum (Shanghai, China). She has also taught at Dartmouth College, Indiana University, the University of Wisconsin–Oshkosh, St. Thomas Aquinas College, and Sullivan Correctional Facility (a maximum-security prison) .