Gudrun Petersdorff paints figuratively in opaque colors—in particular, a range of greens, blues, and purples depicting gardens and waterways. In the solo exhibition “Gardens of the Lands,” the artist draws the subject matter mostly from her own surroundings, including much from her extensive travels to faraway southern lands.
Petersdorff employs varying shades of cool hues and adds complementary colored objects sparingly in her unique garden and city paintings of remote places. Nonetheless, the imagery as a whole is rendered in southern light, evoking the lands of sun-soaked and optimistic atmosphere, which entice the viewer longing for the warmth and beauty of semi-tropical places.
The subject matter is definitely based on the visual world of Petersdorff’s many travels, which provide the artist with the framework and ideas for these works, but she expands them with her own imagination and personal interpretation. The artist ́s masterful painting and drawing skills are deliberately employed to serve a new and creative interpretation of the elements in the compositions, especially the geometry of renaissance and baroque gardens. By rearranging and condensing horticulture and architecture, by forming sharply cut hedges and large box-tree and circular shadows, Petersdorff creates her own unique perspectives and compositions with the encompassing details and enticing atmosphere.
In most of her artworks, the artist ́s predilection for gardens, horticulture and waterways is readily perceived. Moreover, the presence of the human figure is limited here, even in the cityscapes. When people are depicted at all, they are only sparsely represented, calling to mind the eerie modern cityscapes of Edward Hopper. However, Petersdorff’s choice to place only a few human figures in these compositions contrasts with Hopper ́s possible critique of loneliness in modern civilization, suggesting instead a refreshing solitude.