There are no wunderkinds in the art world, despite everything what it may look like, it actually takes years of concentrated focus and effort in the studio. Lauriston Avery has dedicated an extensive amount of time working in his New York studio, mastering the process of manipulating vernacular materials, such as soil, glue, feathers, mirrors, hair, and turn these into a provocative body of work.
The surfaces of his paintings are complex, with references that are visually understandable. You can compile them firstly as landscapes “areal views of cities”, or the body “faces, torsos, and spines”, or pure visual effect “shadows and lights”. His dynamic process of repeatedly adding and removing material creates a rich and thick embroidered canvas, that swings between the painterly and the sculptural. The magnitude of his approach allows him to open doors to make references: symbolic tradition of hermeticism, colonial era tombstones of New England, heavy metal and goth music, process oriented schools, such as ZERO, French Neorealism, etc. They are there, present in the transformed material, sometimes silently waiting to be discovered. Discretely elegant.
A good painting should explode. It’s alchemy should reach a state of critical mass, where it affects the beholder, society and our cultural library. This activation of pictorial space pushes our sensibility, deploying it to a higher status.
In the last couple of years, his work came into light with an astonishing reception. Being primarily shown at the revolutionary Brooklyn gallery „George“, a new landmark into the exigent New York art scene. Larry, how friends call him, is part of a generation of artists that search for a form, reflect on the role and function of painting, characterized by a deep knowledge of German post-war art. Now he is receiving his first solo-show in Düsseldorf with wildpalms, a platform and gallery for emerging artists, whose credo is to put the artist back in the center of art, and therefore art history. Their space in Düsseldorf was opened September 2019 with a substantial exhibition program.
„Deaf Bats Blind Shepherds“ by Lauriston Avery
OPENING: April 5th 2019 | 6 pm
Show: April 5th – June 5th 2019
Address: Gerresheimer Str. 33 | 40211 Düsseldorf
How would you describe your art? An investigation into psychic manifestations of form.
How did you arrive at your particular painting/collage technique? A long, slow evolution of behaving in space with material.
Where do you find inspiration? In the invisible.
What is beauty? Mysteriously ordered and structured complications.
With whom, dead or alive, would you like to have an Altbier in Düsseldorf? Any one of the amazing folks I’ve met here. Honestly.
What would you talk about? How was your day?
For people who don’t know you or art, how would you describe your work? Imagine a construction worker wearing a mink shawl, reflective sunglasses, standing under a tree of falling dogwood blossoms.
How did you encounter art for the first time and when did you start producing art? I was fortunate to have a high school that had a strong curriculum in art. My first real exposure was probably at this time. I’ve always been manipulating material with some kind of goal. But honesty, I started producing art when I discovered I’m not nearly as smart or clever as I was trying to be. Which is to say when I realized art is more of a condition than an expression.
Which artists inspired/influences you, and or still do today? At the moment Yves Klein and the Austrian surrealist Wolfgang Paalen. The Hilma af Klint exhibition, currently at Guggenheim in NYC was revelatory.
Have you been to Dusseldorf before, if so, what was your first impression of this city? Once before, briefly last fall for the inaugural opening of Wildpalms. On first impression Düsseldorf felt familiar. It has a grittiness that the cities on the east coast of US have, cities I’ve called home for most of my life. Düsseldorf feels real.
How do you see the art scene in Düsseldorf? The people I’ve met thus far, in addition to being wildly talented, have been gracious, engaged, sincerely interested and super helpful. The galleries and museums are clearly impressive with well curated shows. Also, not be be ignored is the influential art historical element here. Coming from abroad this adds a charged mystique to the equation.
How is the current art scene in NY? Its oversized, complex and vibrant but can get small and approachable, even intimate, real quick.
Maybe 1-2 sentences on wildpalms and your work with them… I have been working with wildpalms vor about a year now and think they are wonderful and enganged. I appreciate their work and support for emerging artists. Also, I think it is a great opportunity to work here in Düsseldorf and connect those different art scenes.
Photography: Toni Boteva
Production: David Holtkamp
© THE DORF 2019