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Jeanette Mundt at Overduin and Co.
February 4, 2022 - April 2, 2022
Walking into painter Jeanette Mundt’s exhibition Human Remains is like stepping into a dream. In the first gallery, similarly-scaled canvases line the wall in a tight row, depicting repeated characters and configurations, such as a woman looking down at her abdomen, pressing her fingers against her belly. In one painting, she has a cow’s head; in another, blood-red guts pour out of an open wound between her fingers.
Other works picture a geometric interior wherein a bed overlooks an aquatic scene just outside the window (a composition lifted from the 1951 Edward Hopper painting Room by the Sea). A ghostly woman, whose transparent body appears in and out of the room, bends and stretches on all fours on the bed. The linear installation is a tight conceptual grouping that trafficks in surreal symbology and the kind of subconscious connections found in dreams.
The second room in the gallery, while maintaining some of this repeated imagery, feels like the moment in a dream when things start to go off the rails. The paintings burst with color — in one, the woman looking at her abdomen is dropped in front of a psychedelic background swirling with flames and waves. In another work, the woman has been swallowed by flowers, so that all but her face is visible. According to the press release, the composition is a reference to the 2019 thriller Midsommer, and much like the film, the use of florals feels like a nightmarish twist in the plot in which the familiar turns to become menacing.
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Photo: Jeanette Mundt, Human Remains (installation view) (2022). Image courtesy of the artist and Overduin and Co.