Amy Lincoln: Plants, Portraits, and a Distant View

Amy Lincoln's modest yet powerful acrylic paintings depict familiar landscapes and narrative situations as both peaceful and tense. These works allow the viewer to feel both at home and uncomfortable about these spaces. Many delightful combinations of influences may find themselves in the melting pot of Lincoln's paintings including Henri Rousseau, Balthus, Dutch still life, Ellsworth Kelly, Op-art, Early American painting. However, Ms. Lincoln's paintings are all her own. These still life, landscapes, and narrative paintings celebrate and satirize painting and everyday life.

The images and figures in Lincoln's paintings contain many complex paradoxes. The characters in her paintings seem extremely serious and also playfully imaginative. The paintings seem to revel in the everyday and point out its flaws. For example, in the The Breakfast Table, Lincoln and her husband each eat two perfect untouched eggs sunny side up and two slices of bacon. There is humor and seriousness in this Saturday breakfast. The food forms the shapes of disgruntled faces in a claustrophobic magenta room that is reminiscent of many a small kitchen in Brooklyn. Patterns cover everything, bright colors push forward from receding spaces and the figures never seem too happy despite the flowers, view and lovely meals in the paintings. Portraits such as Maid of Honor remind us of the anonymity of historical portraits and the personal nature of posed family photos. These kinds of situations somehow seem very real and extremely fictional at the same time.

Lincoln's landscapes and still life paintings hold tension and sweetness. The landscapes seem sprawling but sometimes the plants begin to close in on us. In Night Pond daffodils seem to look out from the painting. The flowers and trees wave to us in uncanny symmetry and we feel as though this is either Alice in Wonderland or a walk in Central Park. In both the landscapes and still life paintings, nature becomes uncharacteristically organized as leaves, flowers, clouds and surfaces fall into pattern and order. It is as though this was how the world was meant to be or the way one may unconsciously remember it. Despite the hope found in these patterns and bright colors there is always something looming in each painting. These paintings leave room for the imagination of the viewer to kick in. There might be an approaching wind, an awkward silence, a room closes in but the viewer is safe for now in these silent moments between events.