March 11, 2008

Marie Thibeault's extravagant wreckage in LA

In the LA Weekly Doug Harvey reports that Thibeault was riveted by the imagery that emerged from the maelstrom of bad weather and inept government after Katrina. "As the title Keeping Things Whole suggests, Thibeault is less interested in romantic ruins than in paradigms of continuity emerging from the wreckage — a timely and elegant metaphor that holds as true for the practice of painting and Western civilization in general as it does for the infrastructure of the 9th Ward. Superimposing supersaturated fragments of the devastated landscape observed from multiple perspectives, the paintings tremble on the brink of unintelligibility, until the outline of a swimming pool or silhouette of an abandoned car snaps the context into focus. Even then, it isn't long before the image destabilizes, and the viewer is forced to grope for a new balance. Destabilization is central to Thibeault's practice. An accomplished colorist, she deliberately painted the Keeping Things Whole works under twilight conditions, so that their extravagant, sometimes challenging color schemes would incorporate a healthy dose of chaos, possibly surprising the artist (and her audience) with a new kind of beauty." Read more.

"Marie Thibeault: Keeping Things Whole," Jancar Gallery, Los Angeles, CA. Through March 15.