Derek Eller Gallery is pleased to present Devotional Flowers, an exhibition of new work by Mimi Lauter. This will be her first solo exhibition in New York City.
Mimi Lauter uses soft and oil pastel in painterly works on paper that linger between abstraction and representation; they are at once both and neither. Here representation is a guide to experiencing something indefinable, and abstraction is employed as a method of representing something unseeable. This conflicting relationship is one of many contained within artworks that are at once universal and specific; mythic and personal; painting and drawing. Hints of still life, landscape, and other familiar forms appear and then recede into baths of color and the subconscious, allowing each viewer an opportunity for a unique understanding and translation.
The history of European Modernism—including artists Redon, Vuillard, Bonnard, as well as other members of the Nabis and Post-Impressionists—informs the aesthetic foundation of the work. While each piece is warmly familiar and aware of its predecessors, it remains refreshingly airy and untethered by history. In her dreamlike compositions, Lauter repeatedly adds then scrapes away pigment, building and then revealing saturated, nuanced layers of color. The surfaces are worked and reworked, with delicate lines sculpted into larger assertive gestures, assembled together in swirling harmony. The artworks in this exhibition vary greatly in scale, ranging from small intimate pieces to impressively large drawings. Regardless of size, they all possess a physical presence and an intense sensibility that immerse the viewer into expansive fields of unfurled myth-making.
With this newest body of work, Lauter nods towards the history of Christian devotional paintings. Transcending proselytization or instruction, devotional paintings have been made throughout history for use in prayer and worship to function as physical stand-ins for deities. Through acts of elaborate pageantry, these seductively decorative paintings became vessels for affection from their viewers. In Lauter's Devotional Flowers however, the artwork is the object of devotion. There is no higher power, only the artwork and the viewer's belief in it.
Mimi Lauter lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. In 2018 she will mount solo exhibitions at Blum and Poe, Los Angeles, CA and Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago IL. Her work has been included in exhibitions at Carnegie Art Museum, Oxnard, CA, The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA, Tif Sigfrids, Los Angeles, CA and Federica Schiavo Gallery, Rome, Italy. This will be her first exhibition at Derek Eller Gallery.