Some Disassembly Required: Lukas Carlson’s surrealist paintings offer escape from the ordinary

Tom Giffey

Carlson
Carlson

The body is a wonderland, the pop song tells us. It can also be a dreamscape or a palate for nightmares. Painter Lukas Carlson’s studies of human – and inhuman – bodies fall in the latter categories. Facial features drip, splinter, and disintegrate in ways both gorgeous and grotesque (and sometimes both). A new exhibit of Carlson’s work, titled “Phy-Psy-Cal,” will run March 9-April 28 at the Volume One Gallery in the Local Store, 205 N. Dewey St., Eau Claire. Carlson graduated from UW-Eau Claire in 2017 with a bachelor of fine arts in illustration, and he won first prize in last year’s ArtsWest 38 show at the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library. Carlson, a Minnesota native, describes himself as a painter who explores the human figure through the lens of behavior and emotion. “Linear concepts are avoided, and he prefers to be inspired by the complexity of simple forms,” his bio declares. “His current inspiration involves considering the human figure as a structure that can be disassembled and reconstructed in different ways.” Catch a glimpse of his colorfully surreal work during an opening reception on Friday, March 9, from 6:30-8:30pm. 

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