Lincoln is a committed figurative painter with a bent towards the surreal, making works that depict the world and then give way to a certain slow-burning abstraction and symbolism. At face value her oeuvre features closely observed representations of plants and other elements of the natural world: ocean, sand, sun, moon, clouds, mountains, and volcanos. To render these the artist relies on sources ranging from the familiar (Lincoln’s own backyard), to the splendid (elaborate botanical gardens), to the virtual (images found on the internet), adeptly weaving together disparate imagery to create fantastic worlds rooted in the real.
Lincoln’s hard-earned painterly language, marked by opaque planes of keyed up color, graphic clarity, and flattened pictorial space, brings a somewhat cartoonish quality to each landscape, highlighting the otherworldliness of the forms depicted and inviting entry into almost alien worlds. Playfulness abounds, but it is also a smokescreen for a latent, more complex psychological content. The paintings’ insistence on formal repetition (gently pulsing light gradients and repeating motifs of leaves, stars, clouds) asks the viewer to slow down during the experience of looking and take in each compositional twist and turn. Plants take on uncanny anthropomorphic qualities and seem to exert their will on the structure of the image, competing with and complementing one another as if characters on a stage. This exhibition finds Lincoln deftly threading the needle between the familiar and strange, beauty and mystery.