Freight+Volume is excited to announce our second solo with Meg Lipke, The Woman in The Painting Has Left, an exhibition of new sculpture and paintings. Continuing her exploration of stuffed fabric forms, the works on display radically fuse medium and support – and interrogate dynamics of space and dimension.
Lipke’s practice is expansive, combining weaving and textile techniques passed through her family with painting and batik; the results are striking and often enigmatic pieces that challenge confines of medium and technique and possess an aura of transience and vulnerability. The forms of the soft sculptures, whose appearances echo the work of Philip Guston and Claes Oldenburg, among others, recall organic and biomorphic themes, resembling otherworldly fabric organs or lungs. Lipke’s sculptures’ dimensions are similarly volatile, given their “soft” construction of stuffed fabric. In this way, they exist in a sort of transitory space; unlike conventional paintings or sculptures, which have rigid dimensions and carry an ingrained protocol of presentation and care, Lipke’s sculptures are in constant flux, and open to interpretation and manipulation.
In this exhibition, Lipke probes these qualities, using the possibilities created by the fluidity of her work to open new avenues in her practice. Dream of a Painting, a stuffed fabric piece that takes on the orientation and format of a painting, reflects the “in-between” aspect of her work. The stuffed fabric functions as a frame, presenting the void of the wall as the subject of the painting simulacra. Archetypes of specific mediums become roles which are then performed by her sculptures, as in Icon 2 and Blue Frame. The painted surfaces of the fabric further this sense of ambiguity and placelessness. Lipke’s palette is grounded in pastel and iridescent colors, and is applied in washes, streaks, and dappled strokes; they create an appearance of a skin similar to rust or oxidation, and the bright colors give a sense of urgency and saccharine energy.
Lipke’s work encourages unconventional approaches to exhibition, moving her querying of form and dimension into the physical space of the gallery as well. Blue Frame is meant to be placed on the floor of the gallery space, and Slump can be placed either on the floor or wall. The paintings included in the exhibition adopt many of the same approaches as the stuffed fabric pieces, including their palette and conflation of medium-based practices and spatial conventions. Lipke’s handling of paint is intensely physical, and she achieves with it a tangibility and material heft similar to sculpture. A full-color artist book will accompany the exhibition with text by Meg Lipke, Maxwell Taylor-Milner, Jeff Grunthaner, Gina Zucker, and Samir Nedzamar. Meg Lipke was born in 1969 in Portland, Oregon and was raised in Burlington, Vermont and Cheshire, England. She received her MFA from Cornell University and has taught at The University of Northern Iowa, Cornell University, and Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and has been reviewed in Art in America, the Village Voice, the New York Times and many online publications. She lives and works in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York.