Lauren Portada, Sneaky Sock, 2019, acrylic and painted canvas on canvas, 74 x 60 inches
Recent paintings by LAUREN PORTADA
SEPTEMBER 6 – OCTOBER 6, 2019
OPENING RECEPTION FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 6, 6–9 PM
“The dominant plant in the paintings is called Monstera deliciosa; for its naturally occurring holes, it is often called the swiss cheese plant. These passages allow the viewer, when positioned right, to see through the leaves. The effect is micro-scoping, by limiting the field of vision, it frames and opens up another world. The title, “Night Blindness” reflects this engaged way of seeing. How looking through an obstruction - darkness, a veil, the hole in the leaf - can provoke revelations, emphasizing the quality of a shape, the warping of a defined space, or the mysterious power of a color in containment. At these ranges, even subtle shifts of perspective can open up expansive new views.” -Lauren Portada
Lauren Portada invokes the delightful witchcraft of paint to transform house plants around her studio into dense, lusciously colored landscapes flickering with the possibility of light, shadow and three-dimensional space. While they nod to representation with recognizable leaves and discernible shadows, her paintings rarely have a definitive visual ground, but refrain from drifting into pure abstraction. Portada plays aggressively with visual space, combining painting and collage techniques to complicate any logical read of the work.
As enjoyable as it is to get lost in the bright, colorfully overgrown spaces in Portada’s paintings, the work’s excitement stems from the unease caused by her collapsing of space, with the variations in approach from one part of the canvas to the next. Portada’s work is a wonderful gamble, successfully walking the fine line between the world and painting, between representation and abstraction, between two and three-dimensions, all above a thick canopy of wonderfully colored leaves.
Lauren Portada currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. She has exhibited nationally and internationally in New York, Chicago, L.A., India and Norway. She was one of ten founding members of the artist-run collective Regina Rex located in Brooklyn and Manhattan from 2010-2018. She has held residencies in India (Fulbright), Svalbard, Norway, and Vidgelmir Cave, Iceland.