October 31, 2008

Lauri Chambers: Just simply look

"Content is revealed by process...to understand my work it must simply be looked at. I want the encounter to be very, very quiet." Francine Seders Gallery presents Lauri Chambers's well-worked black and white paintings this month. In the Seattle P-I, Rgina Hackett writes that Chambers locates the impure pleasure of painting within the world of abstraction. "Black is not a single shade for Chambers, nor is white. Each is a spectrum unto itself, and she works each to full effect, from matte to moist, clear to soiled, faded to flush. Nor does she always stick to black and white. As a surprise tucked at the bottom of a 36-inch-square painting with three irregular pillars, there are rare splatters of blue Her blacks are mismatched parentheses or stiff-jointed quotation marks, and her whites have been through a lot. Even fresh, there is always the suggestion of darker shapes moving underneath. She paints in layers, laying paint on with a knife or brush, rubbing down, scoring cuts in the surface and painting over. White expands for her, and black contracts. Each painting is a record not only of the personality of each tone but the bruising it undergoes by interacting with its opposite. White's forays into black have left smudges that weaken the solidity of its mass, making it vulnerable. Similarly, black undertones have sullied the white clouds and added weight to the composition overall, aging it and giving it a history. The art world has glamour. Chambers has none. What she has is her determination to adhere to her principles while remaining open to the possibilities of improvised grace." Read more.

"Lauri Chambers: Soundings," Francine Seders Gallery, Seattle, WA. Through Nov.30.

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