In Lily Ludlow’s new paintings, marking her seventh show with the gallery, we are offered a taste of her latent Baroque sensibilities. Contorted female figures hover in dark clouds; the imagery offers echoes of epiphanies felt by both the depicted figures and the artist herself.
Ludlow’s paintings are never pre-planned but rather discovered through an intensive painting process all her own. The surfaces are full of evidence of their own creation, stray pencil lines and the muted flows of tertiary color that is a product of a nearly obsessive addition and subtraction of paint. Recalling experimental surrealist painting techniques including Frottage (rubbing) and Grattage (scraping or sanding); Ludlow works her surfaces with the intensity of a prospector panning for gold. The ceaseless activity results in a collaboration between the painter and her materials which slowly reveal their hermetic imagery.
Blues and hard grays have replaced the warm beiges and pinks of the past works in a series of five smaller paintings on linen. Figures seem to float in weightless suspension or move with uncanny liveliness. Limbs and faces are placed with care to create an ambiguity that draws the viewer away from analysis and towards wonder. The mood is eerie which hints at the studio as séance parlor, where Ludlow communes with both the living and the spirits.
Lily Ludlow was born in Los Angeles, CA and grew up in Seattle, WA. She has shown at venues such as Hauser and Wirth, Nicelle Beauchene, and White Columns, all in New York; and has presented solo exhibitions with Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago; Rebecca Camhi, Athens, Greece; and Canada, New York. Her first solo show at Canada was in 2004. She lives and works in Port Chester, New York.