Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Krummholz by Lucinda Parker

  • Title: Krummholz
  • Artist: Lucinda Parker
  • Medium: Acrylic on canvas
  • Size: 80"h x 43"w
  • Added to collection: 2004
  • Donor: Purchased by Portland Community College, Rock Creek Campus
  • Campus: Rock Creek
  • Location: B/9 E Entry stairwell
"I like paintings you can see from a block away," says artist Lucinda Parker.  If you walk outside building 9 and look up at the front stairwell to the library, you can have this experience, particularly after dark, with this painting, "Krummholz," acrylic on canvas, 80 x 43" 2006.  It is an abstract image, but what is it abstracted from?
Krummholz (German: krumm, "crooked, bent, twisted" and Holz, "wood") is a type of stunted, deformed vegetation shaped by continual exposure to fierce, freezing winds such as one would encounter at the timberline of Mount Hood.  The painting takes the forms of these twisted, blasted trunks and abstracts them into a graphic zig-zag of pictorial tensions of yellow and black.  "I love black and yellow," says Parker, "so deliciously ugly, the strongest possible contrast  between color and value (like) bumblebees and highway warning signs."
Although her painting has been firmly grounded in abstraction since her beginnings, Parker has never entirely left the inspiration of the natural world.  In recent years her landscapes of clouds, water and mountains as well as a series on birds in their natural habitat have added a major contribution to the public art of the region.  PCC produced this documentary on Parker in 2015: