At first glance one might think that Ásdís Spanó has chosen hot springs as the object in her paintings; their power where earth, water and air merge. However, a closer look reveals that it is not the landscape which is the object of choice, but rather the painting itself wherein that power is utilized to its fullest in order to create paintings that possess the explosive energy of nature, the vastness of the sky and the work of an artist who is closely connected with her inner self and the present.
Nature’s chemical reaction, depth and color of the hot spring, earth’s ever changing surface, sulphur barnacles, fleeting columns of steam, nature’s delicate patterns; all this is reflected in the medium on Asdis’s canvas. But instead of attempting to recreate pictures of nature, the artist turns within and to the energy of her medium. She goes on an expedition in her studio, observes what takes place when oil and colors are mixed in various ways, how the colors flow on a horizontal surface, how they change, dry, crack and take on a life of their own, just as nature itself.
Just as it is difficult to harness the steam of geothermal power, or tame hot springs, it would be equally meaningless to categorize Ásdís paintings into specific groups; they are landscapes, yet abstract. In part created with untamed energy and chemical reactions, not unlike an entrepreneur’s paintings that are created by splattering colors onto the surface, similar to those of Jackson Pollock in the mid 90´s, but Ásdís´s paintings also possess a romantic vision of nature’s energy, reminiscent of William Turner from the 19th century. The independence and the decisive horizontal line in most of her paintings create a connection to the present, the traditional abstract factor and at the same time bring balance and contrast to the uninhibited flow of colors.
Never before have artists enjoyed this much freedom. For the first time in history paintings can be everything at once; landscapes, abstract and romantic, and all of this Ásdís utilizes when creating her works.
The spectator is free to see what he wants in these paintings; visions that
materialize in a column of steam from a hot spring, aerial pictures of various changes in the earth, the flow of abstract multicolored surfaces, even monsters and demons, from historical times, gaping spirits in the air. Ásdis utilizes the painting’s energy in order to create works that have an independent life; uninhibited and unfathomable. These are not reproductions of nature, but rather it’s parallel, their beauty is the beauty of nature.
Ragna Sigurðardóttir Critic