Silverlens is pleased to open its 2022 program with the show For the Land that Laments, a presentation of new works by recent CCP 13 Artists Awardee Lou Lim.
Lim returns for her second solo exhibition at the gallery with a brief selection of interrelated pieces, taking us deeper into her long-standing compulsion to employ sculptural gestures to investigate, challenge and reframe the materiality of painting.
The show's central piece is a large-scale painting of a mountain, interrupted by hundreds of irregular, 'squiggly' red markings across the picture plane. Upon closer inspection, it becomes apparent that these markings, at once resembling wounds or tiny flames, were not painted over the finished picture. Indeed, they came to light by peeling off masking tape cut-outs that were laid out onto the empty canvas, set in place before the first dab of oil paint touched the fabric. For Lim, this act of 'peeling' is integral to the whole process, completing the work by subtracting material from the finished painting itself, as one might slowly chip away bits and pieces of stone when shaping a slab of marble.
As marble chips and similar offcuts are often gathered and saved for later reuse, the journey of the peels likewise continues as they take a brief detour to the body. Upturned, exposing their brick red undersides, they are carefully laid flat and photographed over a bare human torso, further amplifying notions of the wound. Soon after, they find rest on the surface of a fallen tree trunk found by the artist from the same mountain during a walk with her father. With their shared palette, these extracted bits of the painting seem to magically disappear into the tree, enveloping it like a second skin or a strange yet faithful camouflage.
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