Friday, September 3, 2010

Lori Field: The Sky is Falling Claire Oliver Gallery New York

Lori Field | Snakes and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails | 
colored pencil and encaustic | 36 x 36 x 2.25 inches

Lori Field
The Sky is Falling
September 9 - October 7, 2010
Opening Reception Thursday, September 9 from 6-8 p.m.

513 West 26th Street, New York, NY 10001 / Tel: 212.929.5949 /

Referencing pop culture, personal history and an awareness of those artists who have gone before her, Lori Field develops haunting images that evoke moods and memories inspired by life in the real world. The artist successfully transcends the commonplace to enter the realm of the sublime or otherworldly. Field’s human/animal hybrids lack self consciousness and artifice; they exhibit human motives and foibles. Seeing these works for the first time requires deciphering; the images can be both emotionally felt and intellectually understood. The viewer is seduced by their straightforward beauty and invited to decode the stories held within. One must develop them with some amount of imagination; each painting acquires a highly personal
connotation for each of us. Inspired by her addiction to talk radio while working in the studio, the title 'The Sky is Falling' and the fable of Chicken Little pokes fun at the somewhat overly dramatic 24 hour news media. Feeling the need to reinterpret their negative messages, the artist plays off of the surreal quality of the news to achieve an alternate narrative; Field asks what would happen after the sky fell?

Mining mythology and dream imagery to create her own visual language, Field’s symbols are mysterious and
ambiguous suggestions portrayed in such a way as to express the inner state of the subject rather than explicit
analogies or direct descriptions. As in the work of Henry Darger, we see a psychological edge in Field’s characters; they have found a means of making the world their own, rather than conforming to the confines of society. As with Darger, and Bosch before him, Field references her own archetypes; she has created a mythic symbology with which to tell her tales. Combining layers of obsessively detailed colored pencil drawings done on translucent rice paper with layers of encaustic painting, the artist creates her characters and creatures from an assemblage of pieces, a psychological paper doll game of sorts. She layers body parts and clothing, using encaustic and other materials - antique lace, small shell fragments, and glitter - whatever suits her fancy. The end results are pieces that have depth not found in traditional paintings. Field’s creatures can be out of focus; objects drift through the work space, as if floating by. The viewer finds himself retracing his pathway through the work as each fragment seems to shift meaning: they are informed by their surroundings relating to, competing with and ultimately completing the artist’s composition. Field’s fantastical visual imagery cannot be categorized as simply collage in the traditional sense. Although it is indeed an assemblage of pieces, each with their own story to tell, they are not reappropriated or repurposed; the work’s original intent is to create a non-linear narrative: surrealistic, symbolistic, yet completely her own. 

Lori Field is the recipient of a New Jersey State Fellowship for the Arts; her work is collected by many national art museums including the Rutgers Center for Innovative Print and Paper, New Jersey State Museum and the Hunterdon Museum of Art. Ms. Field’s work has been exhibited in many international venues including the International Print Center, New York.

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