House with Yellow Roof

Lisa Christensen 

House with Yellow Roof 

Oil pastel on paper 


Today’s collection highlight is this dreamy oil pastel. The dark outline of another building on the right and the looming shadow of the building the viewer is presumably positioned next to or inside of seems to suggest we are looking at a small snippet of a village. The play of light and shadows and the skewed vantage point all add up to a mysterious composition. It is timeless and yet also feels very set in a specific time, far in the past. At first, the titular house that takes up most of the image seems to be the artist’s main focus; however, the attention to the relationship between the buildings both seen and unseen and the way they compete for space complicate the notion of a simple focus. Even the lighting seems to suggest various times of day rather than one specific time. To me, this work is at first very straightforward but once you start looking hard at it, it unfolds and confounds in strange and thought-provoking ways. How does this art make you feel? What do you see in it upon closer inspection?

This is another case where we don’t, unfortunately, know much about the artist who created this piece, although the files do mention that it was purchased in October 1991. If anyone knows anything about the artist, Lisa Christensen, or about this piece, please send us a message and let us know!