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Press Release

Lily Stockman's exuberant, vibratory abstract paintings are based on commonplace experience that transcends the "object" to reveal a phenomenological experience for the viewer. They are a distillation of her own immediate interactions in the world: her observations on specific architecture (a drive-in theater in Twentynine Palms, the Art Deco "movie palaces" of Downtown Los Angeles), landscape (the desert palette of Rajastan, India, and Joshua Tree, California), evolution through repetition (Darwin's finches, Agnes Martin's grids), passions (gardening, Indian textiles), and labors and sacrifices (craft, beauty, purpose). Stockman forces us to look at the object as not so much the result of a process but a representation of one. Her work poses new questions for process in terms of both the analysis and the making of paintings, and points to how multiple activities, histories, and locations can be embedded within single images.

Borrowing from a banquet of art historical traditions (she is a student of both Indian miniature and Mongolian thangka painting), Stockman's work is athletic and rigorously anti-technology; hers is a practice devoted to the hand, the pulled line, and multiple layers of transparencies that serve to coax her curiosity about the physical process of making a painting.

 The Women are suggested through a combination of pared down geometricized compositions that employ tubular lines, heightened colors (Pepto pink, gunmetal grey) and bawdy, organic shapes suggestive of body parts. Yet the works are not the contrived detritus or byproduct of art history--neither a form of appropriation nor a form of conceptual painting.

Stockman writes about her hardscrabble garden in the Mojave Desert as "the perfect metaphor/mode for painting: a fine balance between bending something to your will, your fancy, your instinct, your style, your perspective, while also working within the strict parameters of the given conditions; the harsh climate of the desert or the picture plane." Thus, we are brought to her worksʼ ultimate dislocation: out of history and into the moment. "How one couches oneself as a painter in 2014--in the tradition of 19th and 20th century Western art--is ultimately irrelevant,' states Stockman. 'What endures, what has meaning, what has lasting clout is the experience." 

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