The Art of Rita Holcberg


Rita Holcberg’s paintings favor the emotional, the handmade, and the immediate. Her early paintings are an exploration of mark making techniques with brushes, sponges, cardboard, kitchen utensils, sticks, anything she thought would be interesting. Holcberg discovered for herself the very essence of applying paint to canvas.

Holcberg continues to fearlessly experiment with every means at a painter’s disposal–multiple mediums, heavy textures, and strong colors with bursting motifs. All coalesce into a visceral self-expression where surfaces run to extremes. Viscous mounds of oil paint or thinly dripped acrylic washes cling to a linen ground. Nail polish, coffee, tea and ink unveil a freer line. Her instincts, sense of play, and personal touch reveal a remarkable sensitivity to how the physicality of the material enacts to embody emotions.

While these paintings may appear to be abstract, Holcberg’s affinity for an expressive narrative and an association with the feminine cannot be denied. The uninhibited; the little esoteric markings; the repeated strokes; the splatter and the angst. These figurative elements as metaphor speak to her own experiences of living, loving, and surviving. Holcberg graciously invites us inside, to look up, to look down, to look all around her sometimes dark, sometimes light, but always beautiful world.

Perri Neri
artist, curator, New York