Speechless/Rustle

September 5 - September 29, 2007

Working in and around the slippery borders between painting, drawing, architecture and sculpture, artist Laurie Reid presents a solo exhibition of new work at Stephen Wirtz Gallery. Revisiting a familiar motif (Softest Wall), Reid expands the imagery to quietly blanket nearly all of the large gallery space. Rather than functioning as a simple unique image, the omnipresent motif catches and fills our attention and guides our focus through a simultaneous experience of two types of space: that of the physical gallery and that of the mind in the act of perceiving.

The architectural nature of the motif brings to mind what the viewer might find were he to strip away some of the gallery veneer and peer inside the walls. Here we find layers of imagined brickwork. Reid’s structural assemblies seem to want to slide off the page, gently wending this way and that and ultimately warping the paper, creating a low relief of gentle slopes and valleys. Rather than proposing the illusion of space, Reid’s paintings, with a nod to sculpture, actually create space as they subtly reach into a third dimension.

Reid’s typically restrained use of pigment as well as her use of repetition, provide for a unique viewing experience. With such spare visual input, the mind is engaged in perceiving what is there: the delicate fluctuations of light, line, and color and gentle shifts in scale. These painting are full, but not of visual detail. Rather they brim with space, possibility and a sense of opportunity. How to make sense of these? Rational understanding is quickly abandoned in favor of an experience where the eyes are privileged over thought and analysis. The eyes enjoy a momentary engagement with consciousness; each acutely aware of the others’ presence