Victorian Ghosts Roam Madeline Bohrer’s Paintings at Spoonbill Studio

Victorian Ghosts Roam Madeline Bohrer’s Paintings at Spoonbill Studio

The paintings in Madeline Bohrer’s solo exhibition at Spoonbill Studio in Brooklyn hum with insouciance. Unexpected use of color — blue cows, pink grass, black clouds — depicts bucolic, pastoral settings rendered in abstract shapes and heavy marks and lines. The hues here are bold, inky and sometimes electric, but the paintings feel serene and easeful, and quietly inhabited by ghosts of history. Figures of anonymous women in Victorian dress are central to several of the works on view, which the artist created based on antique handiwork she discovered.

Madeline Bohrer’s “Chateau.”

“They were inspired by these Victorian embroideries that I had found — mostly images of Victorian women,” Bohrer, 26, told ALL ARTS in a recent interview. “I was interested in them because they were all doing these things but they didn’t have any place or background — they are on white napkins. So I thought it would be really cool to take them out of the napkins and put them in different landscapes and places.”

Madeline Bohrer’s “Blue Cows.”

“I think they represent giving them a place and the freedom to go wherever they want,” she added. “It’s like giving them a voice.”

The New York City-based artist, who grew up in Scarsdale, N.Y., received a BFA from Boston University and an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. The exhibition at Spoonbill Studio, titled “Blue Cows, Black Clouds,” is her first solo show with the gallery. Her work was presented in a group show at the Berkshire Museum earlier this year. This summer, Bohrer completed a residency at the Centre Pompadour in France, where she created the works that comprise her current solo show in Brooklyn.

Madeline Bohrer’s solo show, “Blue Cows, Black Clouds,” is on view at Spoonbill Studio through Oct. 20. Click here for details.

Top Image: Detail of Madeline Bohrer's "Blue Cows."