Blum & Poe is pleased to present Symphony No. 1, Mimi Lauter’s second solo exhibition with the gallery. Like most symphonies, the composition is realised in four parts, using the New York gallery’s architecture of four townhouse rooms. Lauter’s arrangements of radiant colours are meant to crescendo to a celebration of the human spirit—a joyous marking of the connections between memories and dreams, personal stories and myths, landscape and skyscape, birth and death.
Twenty-some pastel on paper paintings are classified into the comprehensive, connected groups of body, landscape, still life, and spirit. With saturated hues and lush strokes, the work reflects on the four symphonic movements and their relationship to the earth’s seasons and the parallel stages of life. Buried in emotionally charged colour fields, Lauter hints at figurative subjects, bodies, trees, flowers, insects, waves and ocean spray, coupling the real and the ethereal, the personal and universal. A number of works point to the tradition of still life paintings which implicate interior and psychological spaces. Abstracted imagery of flora and fauna and the four elements are meant to connect to a deep quality within. These works conjure European art history, and the long tradition of religious painting that primes the viewer to feel intensely and believe earnestly; meant to inspire viewing so deep, one finds the power to observe the otherwise invisible.
Lauter’s theatrical and rich chromatic atmospheres encapsulate the rapturous, dream-like quality of her work. As if to squeeze in as much florid detail as possible, every inch of her paintings explodes with stars and blossoms and striated fields of energy. In textured sweeps on the surface and in thin carved lines that reveal underlying colours, Lauter expresses the all over tension between painting and drawing. Her painterly style shows no trace of the delicacy and slight nature stereotypically associated with pastels. Rather, her style is whimsical and seductive, and revels in the sensuous vitality and fullness of nature in all its seasons, both its brightest and darkest times. Between evocation and abstraction, a world of such vitality appears to be in continuous formation.
Mimi Lauter (b. 1982, San Francisco) is a Los Angeles-based artist whose oil and soft-pastel works on paper assemble abstracted narratives drawn from subconscious memory, literature, sociopolitical surroundings, and classical mythology. She received her BA at the University of California, Los Angeles and her MFA from University of California, Irvine. In 2012, Lauter was included in the first Los Angeles Biennial Made in L.A. organised by the Hammer Museum in collaboration with LAXART. In fall 2020, her work will be included in Prospect New Orleans, the citywide contemporary art triennial, organized by Naima J. Keith and Diana Nawi. Her work is represented in the collections of the Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation, Los Angeles, CA; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA; and the Marciano Art Foundation, Los Angeles, CA.
Press release courtesy Blum & Poe.