Bordering the transcendental, Mimi Lauter's soft pastel landscapes replicate a cacophony of impressions drawing from nature, memory, and art history.Read More
Born in San Francisco, Mimi Lauter gained a BA from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2005, followed by an MFA from the University of California, Irvine in 2010.
Lauter's pastel works exude sentiment. Saturated in primitive tones delivered with short rhythmic strokes, the partial abstractions are brought to life with religious dedication.
Lauter's compositions are inspired by the natural world, including her garden, which she has deemed an 'ongoing, constantly changing epic mural.' There, the artist carries reflections on painting as a theatrical space where imagery and forms can be displayed.
The theatrical is recovered in Lauter's narrative compositions, which draw from memory, classical mythology, and literature. Resulting in stark landscapes, these paintings at once frame the world they seek to represent and emphasise the artificiality of painting through abstraction.
Lauter's spiritual devotion to painting manifests in painted iconography—flowers, vases, or the four elements—referencing the history of the medium. Equally present are allusions to the tradition of still life, as seen in panel paintings like Sensus Oxynation (Sunrise) (2017).
For Lauter, the contrast between still life and landscape painting echoes the tensions between death and life. Lauter's canvases aspire to replicate the space in-between, transporting viewers to a semi-mythological realm between memory and dreams.
Stark compositions like Visions of the Past and Future (2018) show dancing infernos rendered with oil and soft pastels in burnt orange and scarlet shades—a mirage perhaps, or a representation of the Anthropocene.
Lauter's textured surfaces evoke the woven nature of tapestry. Built from layers of pastel, coloured pencils, and oil paint on canvas and linen, overlapping materials create lush surfaces recalling early influences: Odilon Redon, Édouard Vuillard, and other proponents of Post-Impressionism.
This timeless quality is retained in works like Sensus Oxynation (Moonrise) (2017), a panel painting resembling an altarpiece. This work was featured in Lauter's first exhibition with Blum & Poe, Los Angeles, Sensus Oxynation (2018), which replicated the interiors of a chapel with a 24-part installation. Each wall showed clusters of chromatic paintings alluding to the artist's early influences: natural landscapes, still lifes, and spirituality.
Mimi Lauter is the recipient of the Medici Scholarship (2008), the Hans G. and Thordis W. Burkhardt Foundation Award (2005), and the Elaine Krown Klein Scholarship (2004).
Mimi Lauter's works have shown across the United States and in Europe.
Select solo exhibitions include Consequential Landscapes, Mendes Wood DM, Brussels (2021); Symphony No. 1, Blum & Poe, New York (2020); Sensus Oxynation, Blum & Poe, Los Angeles (2018); Miniatures, Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago (2018); Dining Out, Marc Selwyn Fine Art, Los Angeles (2012); and Drawing the Weave, Hayworth Gallery, Los Angeles (2007).
Selected group exhibitions include Prospect.5, New Orleans (2021); 5,471 Miles, Blum & Poe, Los Angeles (2020); Summer Group Show I, Tig Sigfrids, Athens (2020); / (slash art), San Francisco (2019); What's Up/ London: Minimal | Maximal, Smart Fine Arts, Mayfair (2019); Selections from the Marciano Collection, Marciano Art Foundation, Los Angeles (2019); Art for Art's Sake: Selections from the Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation, Carnegie Art Museum, Oxnard (2016); and Contemporary, Miami (2015).
The artist's instagram can be found here.
Elaine YJ Zheng | Ocula | 2021