The next exhibition at Nancy Hoffman Gallery, “Slipping Sideways,” is new oil paintings on aluminum panels by Lynn McCarty, opening on May 18 and continuing to July 1. Created over the last four years these abstract works continue the artist’s interest in layering, process, edges, color, line, shape, light and space. McCarty builds elusive space through a vibration between opacity and transparency. The combination of universal painting considerations with the artist’s personal dichotomies (thick-thin, minimal-cluttered, soft-hard, bright-subtle) constitutes her unique coda. In this coda McCarty finds beauty, challenge, harmony, while never eschewing the opportunity for awkwardness or acidity, eager for a range of visual impact.
McCarty writes about her new work: The works in my new exhibition, “Slipping Sideways,” are a shift in my process. The paintings are still created from layers of accumulated “pours” of paint; some are poured directly onto panels, others have been poured, peeled, ripped, cut, and torn from different surfaces and applied to the painting later in its evolution. Some of the paintings have been cut, scratched into, carved with sharp tools, providing me with paint pieces, which can be applied to any of the works.
For many years, I have been primarily interested in forms and images created by layering and fusing consecutive layers of poured paint. I do not use brushes to draw or apply paint, instead I pour wet paint into and around itself – allowing the edges and shapes to evolve organically. I love not knowing what will occur when I move and tip the wet covered surfaces.
My characteristic shapes have been soft, rounded and reflective of the fluid nature of poured paint. I have new ways to add dimension and activation by attaching a wide range of shapes from peeled paint. This new thinking harks back to pieces I made before I started to pour paint. Created on aluminum panels, a hard surface, I can cut into the paint, scratch against it, and use an orbital sander.
My studio is filled with random shapes, fragments, a palette created by peeling layered pours from different surfaces. In building and pouring with oil paint / alkyd mediums, I am freely and casually ripping , cutting and tearing pieces instead of intentionally directing the shapes and edges. I loved the out of control compositions in the flowing poured pieces; I welcome the unexpected juxtapositions and unplanned collisions with these new sharp fragments of cuts, tears and rips. I treat them somewhat like found objects or recycled waste, and scour the studio searching for the right pieces and parts to arrange, layer and construct the final image. It feels natural to me, physical and organic, providing a new kind of visual energy. The painting’s energetic vigor reflects much of my world around me.
Lynn McCarty was born in Phoenix, Arizona in 1961. She received a B.F.A. from Columbus College of Art and Design, Ohio and an M.F.A. from Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York.
The artist’s work has been shown at the Columbus Museum of Art, Ohio; Columbus College of Art and Design, Ohio; Flint Institute of Arts, Michigan; Musee d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, France; Portsmouth Museum of Art, New Hampshire; Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York; and Tucson Museum of Art, Arizona. Her work is included the collections of The Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio and she is one of ten American artists included in the Vatican Collection, Art in Embassies Program, United States Department of State. McCarty is the recipient of a Ford Foundation Scholarship and a Pollock-Krasner Grant.