By Puloma Ghosh
Boston, MA – Walking into the Kingston Gallery on a hot day, Lynda Schlosberg’s “Zero Point Field” exhibit is like looking out at the surface of a lake teeming with activity. The front room of the gallery is full of her colorful abstractions that invoke the reflections of water, while playing with depth and space that establishes within each painting a contained world of its own.
In quantum physics, “zero point field” refers to the lowest possible energy state — a vacuum. However, in contrast, Schlosberg’s paintings are alive and bursting with energy. Schlosberg’s exhibit explores the fact that no particle can exist in “zero point field,” because matter can never come completely to rest.
Even the stillest of particles are still humming with energy in Schlosberg’s paintings. Each work is not intended to represent any particular shape or concrete object. Schlosberg stated that she, “would hope that the viewer kind of enter into the painting more as particulate matter than a body or form so that they dissolve or dissipate.”
Each painting in the exhibit displays its own character. Schlosberg’s process begins with creating a base of swirling colors using wet on wet paint, working on the floor, allowing the painting to build and emerge from this initial work. “I just start with a base color palette, and they kind of just go from there,” she said.
“When I’m working with the wet paint, I push it in a certain direction, but I really ultimately don’t know what’s going to happen, and the character really starts from there,” Schlosberg admitted.
On top of this base, Schlosberg layers meticulously painted patterns with different colors, often incorporating complementary colors to create planes that intersect, giving each painting a unique three-dimensional depth, whether it’s flat, a ripple, a swirl, or an entirely original organic shape, that can’t be attributed to anything, except maybe water.
“There are water references in almost all of them,” Schlosberg explained.
“I found this place up on the North Shore — I kind of happened upon it — and I took some photographs. This was kind of in the fall/winter and the leaves were off the trees and the branches were creating these reflections that were just black and white and levels of gray and I love the shapes that it created.”
As Schlosberg recounted this favorite photography spot, she looked up and squinted slightly, perhaps envisioning the shore that inspired her. “I like the concept of water because it creates a nice metaphor of the quantum theories I’m interested in, not only the flow and the ripples and how the current changes and what happens on the surface and reflections, but how the water permeates and fills all the cracks.”
“Blending Frequencies” is most indicative of water surfaces. The dominating color, a bright, clear blue, is reminiscent of pool water on a sunny summer afternoon. The darker colors are in the shape of shadowy ripples on the water in photographic accuracy, and a splash of orange branches out from the center, adding another layer to the landscape.
The complexity of the layering comes out especially in “Frequencies Rising”. The wet spots from the initial base layer appear to be fiery splashes in the foreground, while the darker blue shapes fall into the background. The carefully done yellow stippling create large, cohesive shapes, and an impressive white swirl that forms a clear horizontal plane in contrast with the vertical plane created by the blue shapes. The painting is a contained field of three-dimensional activity created with a two-dimensional medium.
Within the frame of each piece in “Zero Point Field” is a shifting collection of particles that is seen differently by each individual like a colorful, patterned Rorschach test, taking the viewer on a small personal journey with each painting.
(“Zero Point Field” is exhibiting in the main gallery of Kingston Gallery, 450 Harrison Ave. #43, Boston, through July 27, with an opening reception during this month’s SoWa First Friday on July 11 from 5:30 p.m.–8 p.m.)