Thursday, January 1, 2009
lauri lynnxe murphy
My work has long been engaged with the ability to connect disparate, sometimes random elements to create meaning and narrative. Since I deploy a wide range of mediums and methodologies in creating my work – juxtaposing realism and abstraction, found objects and tightly painted elements – I gravitated naturally towards the grid as a superimposed organizational structure. However, the grid has it’s own art historical baggage, and I found that over time it became restrictive – rather than freeing me to explore as many directions as my short attention span could take me in, it locked me into an uncomfortable modus operandi whose formal demands superseded the content, narrative, and materials that my work was primarily concerned with.
My attempt to escape from the self-imposed straight-jacket that the grid had unwittingly fashioned took me in two directions: scatter-shot compositions of square panels and circles. However, neither solved my quandary. The scattered compositions, while interesting, were still painted on squares and rectangles, and thus inherently suggested the grid; while the circles were disappointingly flat and dimensionless. The solution lay somewhere in the middle, by using a scattered composition comprised of rounded, 3-dimensional organic forms. This approach has taken my work into a direction that is difficult, if not impossible, to categorize. No longer strictly painting, and yet not sculpture either, it exists in a hybrid form that continues to evolve without any rigidly overlaid organizational formations. Each “painting” is formed from a pre-determined cluster of individual parts that can combine in unending variable formats and arrangements.
The formal concerns in my work remain the same, but are freed by using a clustered, free-floating format. As before, I am creating artwork that mimics both language forms and societies – each element representing a word or phrase that, combined in concert with others, evokes a more complex or meaningful idea through it’s interaction while still able to stand on it’s own. As the arrangement of the parts is not meant to be permanent, but to change with each successive installation, the work is highly dependent on a careful balance of compositional components. When the work is installed by someone other than myself, it is as if we are engaging in a collaboration, and the installer is free to make their own sequential and aesthetic decisions, entering into a conversation that can re-occur indefinitely.
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