Madeline von Foerster – Artist Statement
Executed in the oil and egg tempera technique developed by the Flemish Masters,
these paintings allude to Renaissance sources in both method and style.
A strong influence from the School of Fontainebleau loans an aura of mystery
and otherworldliness to the artworks. Surrealistic elements are also often
present, though in the service of meaning and metaphor, rather than for
Meaning and beauty are the twin impulses expressed in the work, with neither sacrificed to the other. Concepts are developed and sketched in detail, often involving weeks of research and drawing for a single painting. Photographic references are always interpolated through the filter of this artistic process (never projected or traced), which adds to a visual impression of timelessness.
In subject matter, however, the work is staked firmly to the present day. Humanity's relationship with nature often provides an impassioned narrative, with such topics as deforestation and human-caused extinction sounding a recurring thematic knell. The ironic detachment of much contemporary art is challenged, in favor of intimacy, knowledge, and connection. In combining a sense of wonder for science and biodiversity, with the devotional iconography of the Renaissance, these artworks propose new ways of relating to our imperiled natural world.