How to Bury Your Stuff
11 March – 8 April 2016
Josh Lilley is delighted to present How to Bury Your Stuff, Los Angeles-based painter Annie Lapins second exhibition at the gallery.
Modernism, because it entails so many contradictions and so little capacity to resolve them, may be something well never be quite ready for. So writes Lane Relyea in a 2015 essay on Helen Frankenthaler. If artists today choose to leave such tensions unresolved, its not always to avoid the issue; often its because they want to engage it all the more broadly.
While Lapin has become known for treating the language of Romantic landscape painting as a relic, excavating and recontextualizing its effects to invent evocative but slippery new memories, the paintings in How to Bury Your Stuff start with the bold, certain building blocks of Modernism, and chisel from there. Beginning with stains of charcoal and water and tracks made by half-loaded rollers running like static over the linen, Lapin builds volume in the compositions around these acts of chance and half-chance. These forms are impregnated in the support and cannot be removed, and their stubbornness requires the artist to take intuitive leaps, to look for spatial cues, and ultimately to make confident, additive marks.
Clear choices made in a decisive moment — a gestural loop or a glowing edge, a geometrical frame within the frame — seek to take control of a picture plane otherwise dominated by ambiguous space. A narrative starts to emerge that is driven not just by the appearance of figures or objects but also by the forces of space, color and mark. They interact without hegemony. The smallest details have the greatest impact on the overall composition, earning a status of inevitability and rewarding the slow confidence of the process.
Annie Lapin (b. 1978, Washington, D.C.) received her MFA from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2007, her Post-Baccalaureate Certificate from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2004, and her BA from Yale University in 2001. Annie Lapin lives and works in Los Angeles. Recent solo exhibitions include Miles McEnery Gallery, New York; Honor Fraser, Los Angeles; Josh Lilley, London; Honor Fraser, Los Angeles; Annarumma Gallery, Naples; Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, NC; Yautepec Gallery, Mexico City; and Museum of Contemporary Art, Santa Barbara.