Works in the exhibition
Each of Amber Albrecht’s drawings is a fully-realized emanation of her individual and subtle imagination. Heterogeneous and yet consistent, they echo with layers of narrative content; fairy-tales co-exist with images remembered from movies and novels, art-historical appropriations, and plain imaginative invention. Her diverse visual catalogue of ideas is no accident; in the process of her research she has assimilated as much from medieval manuscript illustration, as from examples of contemporary drawing practice. The result is a body of work where each strand of history and every idea stand visible, but elegantly intertwined with the rest. Deliberate in her approach, she works in an intuitive and exploratory way, image-hungry, all the while synthesizing the aforementioned database of her influences. Her quality of line, a powerfully original feature of her art, is already completely her own: we only need study a few centimeters of it to understand the freedom and control with which she draws. There is a tremendous suppleness to the space that surrounds every mark; it’s as though she wants to share with her audience the kind of air she breathes.
Her art is stark but at the same time extremely lyrical; every example represents a kind of distinct universe, as well as a chapter in a larger story. Magical-seeming in nature, the broken narratives she shows us, the intricate patterns, and the enigmatic figures which populate her scenes are dramatic, but exist in near silence. They make us listen; for example, in “Euclidian Paradise”, implications are everywhere, but never fully elucidated: perhaps we aren’t meant to fully understand. And in “Darkling, I listen” we can’t be sure of anything, other than that something fascinating is happening in the drawing. Her work is full of curiosity, and while capable of provoking strong reactions, seems to say to us that we should take our time here. These drawings are not morality plays, but vital and comprehensive myths, left partially to our imaginations by this young virtuoso artist.