Escha van den Bogerd is a painter from Holland whose work combines both the female figure and abstract elements.
Her paintings of nudes (semi-nudes, really) use an emotional, abstract background to set off the figure itself.
Luminaria, seen below, is one example.
Van den Bogerd created points of extreme high and low values, placing the figure right between them to emphasize a sense of emotion and movement even though the woman is lying still.
As the name suggests, however, this painting is dominated by the mass of glowing, golden light, and is less about the figure than the effect of the lighting itself.
Riposo2 is, I think, much more successful at establishing the woman as the main subject of the painting.
A sense of loss and sadness are beautifully depicted in the way the woman is sitting, as she hides her face with a hand.
Notice van der Bogerd using a smoother application of the paint for the woman’s legs. I’d love to see that same sculptural quality in the rest of her paintings as well, letting the figures themselves come forward more, away from the textural background.
Of course, when painting nudes there’s always a fine line between the provocative and the merely sensual. In my opinion, these two paintings are excellent examples of the latter. I don’t think all of her paintings achieve that goal, but then again that’s probably part of their appeal.
To see more of Escha van den Bogerd’s nude paintings (and some floral abstractions as well) take a look at her website.
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