Liv Mette Larsen: Insight/Outsight
The Painting Center is pleased to present Insight/Outsight, concurrent one-person exhibitions by Marianne Gagnier in the Main Gallery and Liv Mette Larsen in the Project Room. These painters both begin the painting process from memory and observation of the "ordinary" world, and, through transformation, create stories, extended meditations, which bring their subjects into an expressive, metaphysical world.
Marianne Gagnier writes: Deathless Aphrodite of the spangled mind child of Zeus, who twists lures.... - Sappho
The work in this exhibition represents a return for me to figurative subjects, which appeared, more or less unbidden, as I started these paintings. The major theme that developed turned out to be connection - that is - love. Eros, that star/bully, is just one of the kinds of love that cropped up in this work. And, having emerged out of an open-ended painting process, these subjects retain that uncertain becoming. They are embedded in a world that is transitory, fugitive, made of light, materializing and disappearing. Figures and animals, face the viewer and are kindred. They are bound to each other and their surroundings. They emerge through "insight," from memory, and often recall friends and acquaintances from my daily life. But they also bear a mythic and monumental cast that is not willed. These paintings also represent a turning outward, "outsight," towards social/political concerns. The paintings are built of layers of acrylic paint and have a very physical development. They are scraped, the surfaces often taken down with water. They are dragged outside for a view in daylight and returned to the studio to be revised. The images are liminal, reflecting the manner in which they were made.
Marianne Gagnier has been part of the New York art community for thirty years. She has had one-person exhibitions at Thomas Deans and Company, Maurice Arlos Gallery, and Prince Street Gallery. Selected group exhibitions include: Sideshow Gallery, Repetti Gallery, Western Carolina University, Haverford College, Ingber Gallery, Cedar Crest College, the New York Studio School, P.S. #1, “The Times Square Show” and “The Dinner Party Project”. Her work is in numerous private collections and the permanent collection.
Liv Mette Larsen is exhibiting paintings from her series Neighborhood Extended I-XI, views from her Bushwick surroundings. In a career spanning more than thirty years, Larsen's intuitive paintings establish an energetic dialogue about perception and the transitory moments of her own surroundings. "My paintings consist of impressions, cut-outs of every day life, neutralized, reduced, abstracted...working out a balance between figuration and abstraction, without leaving the original reality which first caught my attention." Larsen paints with egg tempera on linen, this delicate medium turns gritty, urban, objects - the tiles of a factory floor, the façade of an old industrial building, metal from a junk yard- into fragile abstract forms, inverting reality with wit and affection. In the Neighborhood series, industrial buildings become geometrical blocks tightly arranged; the shapes are so specific that they appear like sounds reverberating in open space.
Liv Mette Larsen was born in Oslo, Norway (1952). She attended the SHKS School for Arts and Crafts Oslo, Norway, followed by the Hochschule der Künste (UdK) in Berlin, Germany. Larsen has been the recipient of grants from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, Vederlagsfondet and BKH in Norway and the Berlin Senate Department of Cultural Affairs in Germany. Larsen shows at Galerie Kai Hilgemann and Galerie Bleibtreu in Berlin, and Slag Gallery and William Holman Gallery in New York. Her work is in international private and public collections.