I first visited Havana in November 2016, a few days after Fidel Castro died, and just under a year before Hurricane Irma hit Cuba in September 2017. Since then, much has changed, including the hand-painted signs that punctuate the journey from the airport to the city centre, which today do not celebrate the revolution so much as the 'Unidad y...
The exhibition Beyond Boundaries at Somerset House in London (12 March–2 April 2019) marked the historic contributions of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing (CAFA) and the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London, on the occasion of their 100th and 150th anniversaries, respectively. Spread across several rooms of Somerset House's...
The National 2019: New Australian Art features work by 70 contemporary Australia-based artists split across three venues: the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW), Carriageworks, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) (29 March–21 July 2019), as curated by Isobel Parker Philip, curator of photographs at AGNSW; Daniel Mudie Cunningham,...
Mimi Lauter works primarily with pastel on paper, from intimately scaled notebook-sized work to twenty-four part installations transforming entire gallery spaces into secular chapels. A saturated, bold palette and intricately carved rich textures comprise her works that harken simultaneously to cave paintings, Byzantine mosaics, medieval tapestries, Redon, and the murals of Diego Rivera. The work hovers between abstraction and representation, carrying narratives drawn from subconscious memory, literature, sociopolitical surroundings, the history of painting, and classical mythology.
She says, 'There's a certain type of intimacy with drawing. It's always an accumulation of many marks, never one gesture, that leads to a different relationship with time. It's both immediate and slow.'
Lauter began as a painter, transitioning to the medium of pastel as a means of slowing the pace of both the reading of her work and the creation of her work. These compositions exist in a space between painting and drawing, and even sculpture–Lauter's surfaces are thick, viscous accumulations of almost pure pigment, pushed, scraped, and then meticulously carved. These complex surfaces guide the viewer through deeply personal, and yet universal, knowing of human interior psychic and emotional spaces.
In recent bodies of work, Lauter has explored the relationship of the artist and the viewer to the art itself, a feeling that is deeply spiritual and potentially transcendent. These series, called Devotional Landscapes and Devotional Flowers, are intended as vessels for worship in the same manner as are traditional Christian devotional paintings, which function as physical substitutes for deities. With Lauter's work, devotion is focused on the art itself rather than a higher power–these compositions encourage the viewer to explore the ethereal, the amplified state that is roused through encountering impactful art.
Mimi Lauter (b. 1982, San Francisco) received her BA at the University of California, Los Angeles and her MFA from University of California, Irvine. Her work is represented in the collections of the Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation, Los Angeles; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; and the Marciano Art Foundation, Los Angeles.
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