Neil Christensen (b. 1947, Imperial, Nebraska)
In my work I have authority over everything – it is my world and I can come to it and everything has order and serenity. I hope that is what the viewer will see and relate to. Using a combination of cool light, low vantage points and shallow space, Christensen’s still life paintings evoke a feeling of quiet monumentality. While reminiscent of Flemish masters such as Peter Aertsen and Willem Claez Heda, the artist reflects his contemporary roots and training in abstract art by juxtaposing objects of contrasting color, shape and texture. Christensen refers to the Italian still life painter Giorgio Morandi’s adage that to achieve understanding, it is not necessary for one to see many things, but to look hard at that which one does see. He views each object as a symbol of something greater and says he hopes his viewer will look “a bit closer at the world to see the beauty in ordinary things.” A native Nebraskan, the artist received both his B.F.A. and M.F.A degrees from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. His numerous honors include solo and group exhibitions at the Museum of Nebraska Art and the Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery.