Bible Themes, Exploded Seagulls, Tiny Nudes: Chelsea Galleries

By Katya Kazakina

March 22 (Bloomberg) -- Danish painter Maja Lisa Engelhardt approaches her abstract landscapes as if each were a battle.

``I fight with my brushes, I fight with my hands,'' said Engelhardt at the opening of her new show, ``The Second Day,'' at Elizabeth Harris Gallery in Manhattan.

Engelhardt, who's tall and energetic, explores the second day of creation as told in Genesis, when the water was separated from the firmament, with 18 works in acrylic on linen. Ranging in size from 3-by-4 feet to 7-by-8 feet, these turbulent, moody pieces are layered with brushstrokes. In some paintings, you can detect baby blue or pale yellow underneath the murky accumulations. In others, dark red and flaming orange dominate.

The artist, who paints in Paris, starts with several preparatory layers that make the rough linen skin-smooth. The contrast between this silky background and torrid brushstrokes creates tension -- as does the combination of her mostly stormy palette with occasional bright or pastel color.

Paintings are priced from $12,000 to $40,000. The show is on view through April 14 at 529 W. 20th St.; +1-212-463-9666