Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Fire and the work of Eva Slater

The subject of fire is a recurrent theme throughout Eva Slater’s work and her life. From the powerful sun paintings she did on through her last painting of the mythological Icarus’ failed attempt to fly to the sun, its radiant force permeated her work. Fire was something Slater was familiar from her earlier days in Berlin, Germany during WW2 in which her house was burnt to the ground after getting hit by a bomb. Later her large and magnificent sun painting, considered one of her most important works, was destroyed in a fire in a collector’s home. Towards the end of her painting career she completed a series of drawings and paintings depicting Icarus with his wings melted by the sun, just before he fell to the earth to his death. Her fascination with fire can also be seen in her volcano paintings, which show their fiery interior displayed in a cross section of the earth. So, while Slater’s work is quite beautiful, there is also an underlying danger that smolders underneath.