Clea von Döhren combines her studious understanding of Modernist forms with visionary thematics discovered only by reflexively turning one’s eye inward toward the subjective origins of personal expression. Working in a vein similar to the all-over painting technique pioneered by Abstract Expressionism, von Döhren’s works expand upon American-type painting by adding influences derived from German Expressionism. Among other inspirations, she also notes Emil Schumacher, Pierre Soulages, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Jeff Koons.
Yet von Döhren’s works have a compositional uniqueness all her own, stemming in part from the way in which she mixes warm colors with cooler ones. In the painting titled Altai, abstraction and figuration mingle to make the picture suggest the dimensional outlines of a landscape. Whatever allusions the painting might make to the world outside it, the substance of the image it portrays hinges on a subjectively experienced phenomenon. The viewer’s eye can freely take in the painting as he or she likes, as the spatial determinateness of up versus down, or left versus right, is affixed to a dream-like plane of vibrant ambiguities.