Mar 19th 2016

Lauren Ball: Old Dynamite

@ Free Range Gallery

3257 W. Lawrence Ave., Chicago IL

Opening Saturday, March 19th, from 6PM - 9PM

On view through Thursday, April 21st

Lauren Ball’s painting practice is a meticulous exploration of color rooted in the history of still life painting. Ball has a highly individualized technique of sourcing colors for her paintings that results in a truly unique palette. This process begins with creating a still life prop, in itself a sculptural artifact with objects ranging from the domestic to scavenged materials. These objects form a still life that is almost a three-dimensional collage. Colors are then found, isolated and sampled through a painstaking process of observation and color matching. Whereas most painters mix an approximation of a color to represent the subjects of their paintings, Ball uses local color, or the object’s true color.

Ball’s artwork ranges from literal translations of the still lifes in carefully crafted paintings, to abstract and semi abstract paintings that reference the color, shape and patterning of her props. In Ball’s recent paintings that move the furthest from their still life origins, these colors then re-emerge as abstract pour paintings. There is a tension between the choreographic color matching and paint mixing process derived from the years she spent painting still lifes from observation and the intuitive pouring process. Some of the pour paintings become the surface for superimposed images of furniture that include a glass coffee table, patio chaise, card table, and a vintage bakers rack. The images are filtered and altered in Photoshop to reflect her memory of them. They become color silhouettes, underscoring their mystery and monumentality.

One such painting, Brass and Glass (Baker Table), represents the glass coffee table that Ball carefully cleaned every Saturday morning as a chore at her grandmother’s house. Ball’s paintings beg the question of whether the roots of her colors carry psychological implications. Do the colors’ association to the objects or domestic environments they are identified with affect the viewer’s experience? In all iterations of Ball’s creative output, the work references back to a conceptual investigation of color and still life painting.

Lauren Ball was born in Chicago, IL, where she currently lives and works. Notable group exhibitions include Gowanus Ballroom, Brooklyn, NY; SideCar Gallery, Hammond, IN; Tyler School of Art Rome Gallery, Rome, Italy; University of New Orleans Gallery, New Orleans, LA; and artLedge, The Butcher Shop, and Happy Collaborationists Gallery, all Chicago, IL. She received a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and is a Masters in Teaching, Art Education candidate at Columbia College Chicago. She is currently the Art Educator in Residence at the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture and Art History Tutor at Daley College.

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