Stella Im Hultberg's Memento Mori gallery show in LA

 2009 07 Show Canvas Penumbra
One of my favorite painters, Brooklyn artist Stella Im Hultberg, has a solo show of new work opening Friday, July 10, at Thinkspace Gallery in Los Angeles. Along with work on paper, canvas, and wood panel, she's also showing a series of small painted wood figures. Seen here, "Penumbra" (oil on canvas, 12" x 14"). The works in the exhibition, titled Memento Mori, are also viewable online. Memento Mori


  1. I’m really glad that BoingBoing generally seeks to promote artwork and in turn artist shows and galleries, but I do have to agree with the above poster. I’m sure the paintings look nicer in person, but holy poop that is some vacuous imagery.

  2. Sorry you two feel that way. Obviously I strongly disagree. Who are some emerging contemporary painters that you like?

  3. For a while, Stella’s work was very much aligned with the rest of the east/west mix pop surrealists (like Sol and Kawasaki), but it’s getting much more distinct. Glad to see more of her stuff. There’s lots of texture in these pieces.

  4. Vali’s drawings possess a texture unto themselves. They are a product of Vali’s intense dedication to her art. Her materials consist of an English made fine tip nib placed upon a goose feather, Italian hand made paper, gold leaf and carefully diluted Chinese inks.


    Stuff above is just as good.

  5. Some favorites:

    Michael Ciervo
    Kristine Moran
    Magnus Plessen
    Gregory Brellochs
    Karen Kilimnik
    Ben Peterson
    Sebastian Bieniek

    Not quite emerging:
    Marlene Dumas
    Neo Rauch (IMO best painter alive)
    Odd Nerdrum
    Luc Tuymans
    Wilhelm Sasnal
    Tomma Abst
    Eberhard Havekost
    Elizabeth Peyton
    Trenton Doyle Hancock
    Vik Muniz
    Nicola Verlato

    To name just a few. People like what they like, I guess.

  6. I really like her new work, its great to see her progressing and distinguishing herself more, as @4 said from Sol, Kawasaki et al

  7. The English made fine tipped pen placed upon a goose feather and the unworn gloves are mightier than my yawn.

  8. I still think it looks like Sol, Kawasaki et al. Just with a thicker application of paint.

    The redundancy of these ‘Lowbrow’ ‘Pop Surrealists’ is REALLY starting to bum my trip….

  9. Do you think the problem is that they use the same imagery? If you removed the succulent girl language, and let their media and ideas stand apart, I think you’d see that they all are vastly different.


  10. When emerging Cro-Magnon painter Oog unveiled his latest wall painting at Lascaux, it was greeted with ”oohs” and ”aahs” for the most part, but there was also the occasional sigh and at least one loud, heartfelt groan.

    But all agreed the aurochs cheese and iceberry wine were good.

  11. “But all agreed the aurochs cheese and iceberry wine were good.”

    I’ll keep my Kraft Brie, Terra chips, and Yellow Tail, thank you very much!

  12. It’s a pop take on Klimt and other “decadent” Viennese artists of the early 20th C. Nice.

  13. After reading a majority of these comments I am struck by how easy it is to voice one’s opinion from the sidelines. Has anyone driven by the gallery lately and seen Stella in there for over a week painting the walls and installing her artwork, or been there for the years she has invested in persevering despite the many armchair critics debating the validity of her artwork. Why is it so difficult to applaud the hard work involved and yet so easy for those non-artists to tear one down.. what have you created lately other than bombast?

  14. Well, I think it’s pretty, so please don’t stop posting about the ‘pseudo-neo-pop-modern-surrealists'(whatever) David ;)

    I did somewhat prefer the earlier (2006) pieces, but it’s mainly because it had more illustrative linework (as opposed to ‘painterly’) feel that I personally enjoy. Good stuff, though.

  15. @25

    Look, no one ever said that she wasn’t working hard, that it’s easy to put up a show, or that it’s easy to create a painting. Whether positive or negative, you’re still a critic if you talk about artwork, armchair notwithstanding. Assuming that we in the do-not-like camp aren’t artists is also premature. Even if I was not an artist (debatable whether or not I am, but let’s call me one for now) my opinion as a commenter shouldn’t be invalidated given it’s critical standpoint just because you happen to like the work. As far as my only creation being “bombast,” I’d be happy to send you some jpgs of my current work, and I won’t even expect praise.

  16. I think we get hung up on the stylistic and thematic similarities between one artist and another because we have an unprecedented access to the images through the interweb. The more examples you see, the easier it is to make the comparisons. But, then again, so much of the Low Brow art reminds me of mid-sixteenth century Mannerism because of the ubiquity of the big eyes and elongated anatomy. It’s just Margaret Keane, as #16 said as opposed to Michaelangelo. Eventually, the reaction to the waif look will result in paintings of overweight girls with tiny eyes. Come to think of it, I’ve seen that already in Hi Frutose.

  17. @28- great post. i totally agree

    oh, i thought this was a very strong show by stella. all the pieces look even better in person.

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