A few words and images: Margie Livingston at LACE

Margie Livingston, Twenty Gallons, at LACE (installed in the archway btwn the front room and the main gallery)

Margie Livingston, Twenty Gallons, at LACE (installed in the archway btwn the front room and the main gallery)

Top right corner of Livingston's painting and of LACE's front room. Exciting angle!

Top right corner of Livingston's painting and of LACE's front room. Exciting angle!

I'm stuck on the top right. Must be a handedness thing.

I'm stuck on the top right. Must be a handedness thing.

Not an excellent shot, but this does give you the cross-section view. Possibly from this you can understand that Livingston applies her thick layers of paint (in red and yellow and white and black) to a slick surface the size and shape of  Home Depot 4′ x 8′ sheets of plywood. Then she cuts these into strips, like the ones you see here. In this case the strips were heat-applied to an aluminum panel.

Over the course of her residency at LACE Margie participated in several public conversations: at the reception speaking with those in attendance about her practice and on the following weekend LACE invited other artists engage with the installation and speak with her in a more intimate setting. Livingston mentioned work by Roy Lichtenstein. Not being familiar with her reference I spent time looking online. Below are images that I found.

Roy Lichtenstein, Three maquettes for three large scale sculptures.From left to right: Brushstroke, 1996. Brushstroke Group, 1983. Three Brushstrokes, 1984. Link to Roy Lichtenstein Foundation.

Roy Lichtenstein, Three maquettes for three large scale sculptures.From left to right: Brushstroke, 1996. Brushstroke Group, 1983. Three Brushstrokes, 1984. Link to Roy Lichtenstein Foundation.

Roy Lichtenstein, Yellow and White Brushstrokes, 1965 oil and magna on canvas. Link to City Review, Art and Auctions

Roy Lichtenstein, Yellow and White Brushstrokes, 1965 oil and magna on canvas. Link to City Review, Art and Auctions

Roy Lichtenstein, Red Painting (brushstroke) 1965

Roy Lichtenstein, Red Painting (brushstroke) 1965

I think Margie was speaking of the sculptures, all of these images help me make a connection. It seems that Lichtenstein was quoting from painting in this work. He ‘took’ a big, wild brushstroke – with all the freedom of gesture that these things imply to a viewer –  and rendered this/these in his own flat, highly technician-like manner, leaving me to wonder at the expressive ability of paint and also to imagine myself caught in a dilemma similar to one I described in talking about Kelley Walker’s work yesterday. What sort of meaning is held in a representation? Does an original exist, after representation such as this of Lichtenstein’s? I kind of hover there, looking and not quite understanding.

Partly this subject came up because Margie Livingston met with a conservator at the Getty – imagine the excitement for her! She spent several hours on that hilltop, talking with scientists about her paintings and ways time and wear might affect them. One Getty conservator took a particular interest and has requested an example of Livingston’s art to use as a test case for conservation of acrylic paint. Pretty cool, all around.

I’m gonna fly briefly. Going to Chinatown.

Back with more and more later.

Geoff

4 pm, back.

And back also to those brush strokes. The way that Margie Livingston uses them in this LACE installation they are objects unto themselves. They are several removes away from the act of painting, and flirt with sculpture but then veer off in a different direction. Here her objects play with the architecture in a nice way. They lay upon the surfaces, they make an unintentional but inevitable lattice-work pattern and the visible patches of wall and the shadows cast on these patches in an odd way diffuse walls as I pass through them. It’s a bit like walking through a halo. On the other hand, one participant in the talk commented that “it looks like the walls are packed with bacon!”

It happens that you walk through this installation directly into Kristin Calabrese and Josh Aster’s Unfinished Paintings exhibition. Coincidence is an amazing curator.

Cheers

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