Dutch artist Chris Berens (featured in our book Hi-Fructose Collected 3) developed a unique painting technique that lends his work a soft focus, as if watching the fantastical world he depicts through a distorted lens. The artist combines age-old glazing techniques inspired by the Renaissance masters with layers of emulsion, plastic sheets one to three inches thick, and paper. The result is a quilted-looking texture that evokes the sensation of seeing his work through uneven layers of glass. The artist has been laying low until recently, and will debut his first US solo show in four years, “Nethermoor,” at Roq La Rue in Seattle on February 5.
Berens’s latest body has a narrative thread inspired by Michael Ende’s well-known fantasy novel The Neverending Story. Surreal characters navigate a frigid terrain filled with mysterious apparitions and supernatural occurrences. “In this place, deserts may be adjoined by snow covered plains, compass points can never be established or trusted, traveling from one end of the world to the other may take mere moments, and places right around the corner might be far beyond reach,” wrote Berens describing the world he brings to life in his new paintings. Today we bring you a first look at “Nethermoor” before it opens to the public this Thursday.