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Melissa Huddleston - Artists - Luis De Jesus Los Angeles

Photo by Molly Tierney.

The paintings of Los Angeles-based artist Melissa Huddleston are steeped in historic print and papermaking processes and suffused with her ruminations on primordial origins and the sublime happenstance of life. Through an experimental monoprint-style method, paint is not applied, but transferred, through marbling water baths to achieve layered organic shapes, swooshes, and swirls of opalescent color floating with mysterious levity. In these paintings, single-celled organisms and humanoid amphibians encounter each other in a luminous swamp. In ancient times, terrestrial life emerged capriciously through swamps. The imagery in the paintings teems with procreation, decay, mutation, sex, death, and the magnificent messiness of life. Huddleston’s processes are informed by the cultural, social, and feminist histories of works on paper and its previous segmentation from fine arts materials, with associations to minor arts, craft, and ephemera. Paper marbling is commonly connected with ancient Asian and European scriptural arts as well as the Japanese art of suminagashi. Huddleston’s paintings intersect aspects of these traditions with the idiom of modernist abstract expressionist painting.

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