Individual Works

Lucy Bull, Crooked Coda, 2020, oil on linen, 48 x 36 x 1 1/2 inches (121.9 x 91.4 x 3.8 cm)

Press Release

David Kordansky Gallery is pleased to announce Skunk Grove, its first exhibition of new paintings by Lucy Bull. The show opens on March 20 and will be on view through May 1, 2021.

Lucy Bull’s paintings are visceral works that appeal directly to the senses. Synesthetic fields of shape and color, her paintings are described in sonic, tactile, or even emotional terms that evade rational logic and are unique to each viewer. This tension between the paintings’ bracing, unexpected materiality and the subjective responses it elicits engenders something akin to transformation: as their formal attributes function as visual bait, the eye is drawn into the atmospheric spaces of each composition before encountering a seemingly limitless number of associative openings. Worlds take shape across their varied surfaces and just as quickly fall away again; similarly, just when the act of looking generates optical overload or disruptive dissonance, Bull’s accumulations of marks reveal discernible traces of planning and hard-fought negotiations with her materials, leading the viewer back toward the concrete realities of pigment, medium, and surface.

The gestures that animate the works in Skunk Grove gravitate toward several overlapping categories. They include daubed, gauzy veils; illusionistic swirls and stratifications; and networks of scratched marks that give way to underlying areas of paint. When followed from one work to the next, these serve as guides into the unknown territories that crystallize on the canvas. But they also allow Bull to break down the temporal experiences of producing—and seeing—painting. Unable to discern what came first or last, time and space appear for artist and viewer alike as elliptical, self-generating feedback loops. The effect is a kind of rapturous disorientation, one made more intense by Bull’s color combinations, which reach toward the ethereal, border on the grotesque, and expose the tender, vulnerable places where conscious and unconscious collide. As she engages in these open-ended painterly experiments, Bull makes room for both precision and abandon, inviting viewers to participate in ever-unfinished processes of creation that she can choreograph but never fully control.

Lucy Bull (b. 1990, New York) has been the subject of solo exhibitions at High Art (Arles, 2020; Paris, 2019); Smart Objects (Los Angeles, 2019); and RMS Queen Mary, Mother Culture, Long Beach, California (2017). Recent group exhibitions include Life Still, CLEARING, New York (2020); I Want to Eat the Sunset. We’re Talking About the Cosmos, Even. And Love, I Guess, Almine Rech, New York (2020); and El oro de los tigres, Air de Paris, Romainville, France (2020). Her work is in the collection of the ICA Miami. Bull lives and works in Los Angeles.