Review by Genie Davis
Lily Simonson’s “Midnight Sun” is the work of both an artist and an Antarctic explorer, a magical viewing experience that pulls us into canvases fecund with color and motion. Based on her second expedition to Antarctica as the Awardee for the National Science Foundation Antarctic Artists and Writers Program, Simonson has created a beautiful, nearly surreal world of color-intense paintings. Using acrylics, oil, and fluorescent pigment in both mediums, Simonson’s work has a translucent, pearlescent quality in white light, and it glows in black light. One room of the gallery is devoted to a video installation that plunges us into her wild and ethereal world, shown alongside a series of canvasses that are lit by black light.
Her “Antarctic Pteropods (Sea Butterflies)” depicts a beneath-the-sea landscape of nearly neon greens, blues, reds and yellow toward the water’s surface, while through the dark ocean depths, delicate creatures dance in translucent opal shades. The unexpectedly rich colors Simonson uses here and throughout the exhibition, recreate life both beneath the sea ice and on land along the Antarctic coast. Her water images seethe with motion, while landscape vistas border on the surreal, both lush and mesmerizing.
Lily Simonson: Midnight Sun is one of four international exhibitions recommended by the Interview Magazine!