"Pollinator" reviewed in the Los Angeles Times:
Flower beds? Body parts? The compelling abstract paintings of Lily Stockman
Lily Stockman’s strikingly simple geometric abstractions at Gavlak gallery possess a mysterious confidence. Her softly curved lozenges, U-shapes and circles, rendered in a mostly muted palette of grays, yellows and pinks, refer to 1970s feminist abstraction, but also feel strangely unique.
But nothing comes from nowhere, and Stockman’s paintings were inspired by filmmaker Derek Jarman’s famous sustainable garden in Britain. Stockman’s vocabulary of shapes could be flower beds or abstracted body parts, or even a rudimentary alphabet. They suggest a correspondence between landscape and body in which it is hard to tease out which is which. In this sense they embody Jarman’s philosophy of gardening with, not in spite of, the natural terrain.
One motif consists of two or more horizontal lozenges stacked , placed atop one another on a vertical canvas. It’s vaguely reminiscent of Rothko’s stacked rectangles of luminous color, except, where his blocks feather out anxiously to nothingness, Stockman’s are discretely rounded and self-contained. They don’t have boundary issues; they seem to know who or what they are.
This self-assurance might be due in part to Stockman’s background in Buddhist thangka painting. The works certainly have a meditative quality, and the shapes are all created freehand, betraying slight wobbles or asymmetries. It’s this human touch that sets them apart from hard-edged abstraction and makes them so quietly compelling.
Gavlak, 1034 N. Highland Ave., Los Angeles, (323) 467-5700, through May 7. Closed Sundays and Mondays. www.gavlakgallery.com
Lily Stockman "Pollinator"
March 11 – May 7, 2016
GAVLAK Los Angeles
GAVLAK Los Angeles is pleased to present an exhibition of new paintings by American artist Lily Stockman. This is the artist’s first solo exhibition with the gallery.
In this series of paintings, Stockman takes inspiration from Derek Jarman’s postmodern garden on the rugged coast of England, a place where the inhospitable terrain is framed by geometric beds of native plants and collected stones. The gardener's challenge -to impose one's sense of order on the landscape while working within its parameters- is also the painter's. Stockman’s decidedly minimal paintings (and her own garden in the Mojave Desert) thrive on this balance.
Stockman’s work explores alliterative shapes and chromatic harmonies within her body-scaled canvases. Her biomorphic shapes are controlled, outlined, and athletic; they fill the gallery space like dancers taking their positions. Altogether the result is both meditative and exuberant– orbs of cool grey and warm ochre seem to float off the dyed linen, ecstatic outbursts of vermillion and coral, a color field of poppies.
Here Stockman is both a landscape architect of spirituality and a choreographer of bodily joy, mapping shapes and colors with a nod to Agnes Martin and Milton Avery but in a language that is all her own. Although her elegant lines appear straight from a distance, closer inspection reveals her geometry is imperfectly mirrored. She uses no guides or taping-off, but rather a confidence of hand and mind. The wobbles and overlapping transparencies become thrills of close noticing, rewards for seductions – painting as flower, viewer as pollinator.
Lily Stockman (born 1982, Providence, RI) lives and works in Los Angeles and Joshua Tree. She graduated from Harvard University in 2006 where she studied painting and botany. She completed an apprenticeship in Buddhist thangka painting at the Union of Mongolian Artists in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, and in 2010 she moved to Jaipur, Rajasthan to study pigment and Mughal miniature painting with Ajay Sharma. Stockman received her MFA in studio art from New York University in 2013.
More info here.
Opening reception: Thurs. July 9 2015 | 6-8PM
JOE SHEFTEL GALLERY | New York
E.1027: Graham Collins, Denise Kupferschmidt, Sofia Leiby, Mike Pratt, Gary Stephan and Lily Stockman
July 9, 2015 – August 5, 2015
Joe Sheftel Gallery
24A Orchard Street
New York, New York 10002
LUIS DE JESUS | Los Angeles
Lily Stockman: Women
November 8, 2014 – December 20, 2014
Lily Stockman, Baboon, 2014, oil on Indian linen, 52 x 32 in
LILY STOCKMAN: WOMEN
November 8 - December 20, 2014
Artist's Reception: Saturday, November 8th, 6-8 PM
"Had I been blessed with even limited access to my own mind there would have been no reason to write. I write entirely to find out what I'm thinking, what I'm looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear. …What is going on in these pictures in my mind?" — Joan Didion
Luis De Jesus Los Angeles is very pleased to present LILY STOCKMAN in her first solo exhibition with the gallery, titled Women, on view from November 8 through December 20, 2014. An artist's reception will be held on Saturday, November 8, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Lily Stockman describes the experience of creating the paintings in Women like that of being in a painterly feminist utopia, wherein each of the human-scaled paintings stand as portraits of her three sisters and mother. Women also brings to mind Willem de Kooning's own iconic contributions and, a half century later, seems to beg the question: where do we stand now in abstraction and the female form? Stockman?s paintings pose new questions for process in terms of both the analysis and the making of paintings.
Lily Stockman's brilliantly colored and elegantly executed 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 architecture (a drive-in theater in Twentynine Palms, the Art Deco "movie palaces" of Downtown Los Angeles), landscape (the desert palette of Rajasthan and Joshua Tree), opinions (Joan Didion, Janet Malcolm, her mother), 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 points at how multiple activities, histories, and locations can be embedded within single images.
Borrowing from a banquet of art historical traditions—Stockman 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 "represented" through a combination of pared down geometricized compositions that employ tubular lines, heightened colors (flesh tones, Pepto pink) and bawdy, organic shapes suggestive of body parts. Yet the works are not the contrived detritus or byproduct of art history; hers is 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 works? ultimate dislocation: out of history and into the moment.
"Ultimately how one couches oneself as a painter in 2014—in the tradition of 19th and 20th century Western art—is completely irrelevant,' states Stockman. 'What endures, what has meaning, what has lasting clout is the experience. Experience is the only real thing."
Based in Los Angeles and Joshua Tree, Lily Stockman graduated with an honors thesis in painting in 2006 from Harvard University and received her MFA in studio art from New York University in 2012, where she also taught undergraduate painting. She was a 2013 teaching fellow in the Visual & Environmental Studies Department at Harvard University. She has apprenticed in thangka painting with the Union of Mongolian Artists in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, and in Indian miniature painting with Ajay Sharma in Jaipur, India. She is cofounder of Block Shop Textiles, a hand block printed textile collaborative in Bagru, Rajasthan. Recent exhibitions include The Morning After at Tyler Wood Gallery in San Francisco. Stockman will participate in exhibitions at Gavlak Gallery in Los Angeles and Palm Beach.
For further information, please call 310-838-6000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
GAVLAK | Palm Beach
November 25, 2014 – January 5, 2015
An exhibition of Los Angeles-based artists at the flagship GAVLAK Palm Beach.
Ed Ruscha, Vine/Melrose, 1999, Lithograph in colors on wove paper, 22 х 30 in, 55.88 x 76.2 cm
Artists include Lisa Anne Auerbach, Judie Bamber, Mary Corse, Zoe Crosher, Lecia Dole-Recio, Francesca Gabbiani, Mark Grotjahn, Michael John Kelly, Robert Levine, Catherine Opie, Lari Pittman, Rob Reynolds, Ed Ruscha, Aaron Sandnes, Jim Shaw, Lily Stockman, Vincent Szarek, Britton Tolliver, and Brian Wills.