Words by Heike Dempster
Magnus Sodamin’s debut solo exhibition Into the Rainbow Vein at Primary Projects celebrates the act of painting and explores the twilight which exists between nature and cosmos via monumentally large scale abstract paintings inspired by nature.
The paintings and an additional series of smaller studies place the viewer into the cross sections, or vein, of a rainbow, as the colors explode on the canvases, guided by gravity and Sodamin’s brush. In a shift from previous works, Sodamin lets the paint flow more freely in the creation process of what he calls his “cosmic gardens.”
As he lets the paint guide the way, Sodamin adds an additional conceptual layer to his explorations of nature. He uses nature as inspiration but also allows nature, in form of gravity, to add a spontaneous and organic element to the paintings. The resulting works underscore and exalt society’s universal relationship with art and nature.
“Vision only goes as far as the imagination permits, but beyond that, Sodamin’s genius is how he taps into where the mind’s eye sees further,” says Primary Projects founder and curator, Books III Bischof.
Into the Rainbow Vein immerses the viewer in a world of imagination as the artist’s inspirational journeys exploring Florida’s Ten Thousand Islands, hiking in Hardangervidda, Norway, and stargazing in the Austrian Alps are translated into canvases filled with curiosity, emotion, intensity and a richness of color that allows the mind to create thousands of narratives, each new one more exciting than the previous.
The combinations and interplay of the colors are simultaneously structured and anarchic. The colors melt into each other, yet they remain distinct, exuding a juxtaposition of discipline and discord. Each glimpse of one of Magnus’ paintings offers a new perspective, as the richness and saturation of the color, texture, movement and imagery offers myriad visual dialogues.
Sodamin calls his new paintings an “abstract expressionist take on painting.” He adds, “There is a whole world in that, I want to explore.” The emotional intensity of Sodamin’s paintings, whether floral or abstract, demonstrate the artists’ love for the act of painting. With each canvas, he “recognizes the magic that underlies the mundane,” breathing life into the paintings with his quest to make the movement and cosmic connections between nature and art tangible.
The new Primary Projects space, which opened in December 2013, displays Sodamin’s works with the space each painting needs and demands. Every painting connects with the viewer individually, and as a group they form a coherent and cohesive exhibition narrative. There is a feeling of grandeur surrounding Sodamin’s awe-inspiring paintings as the viewer is dwarfed while wandering through and wondering about these “cosmic gardens.” An awe, that is shared by the artist. Says Sodamin, “When I saw my works hanging on the walls of Primary Projects for the first time, I really saw them for the first time. I was an observer.”