12 April – 16 May 2013
Josh Lilley is pleased to present Amnesiacs, Los Angeles-based painter Annie Lapin's debut exhibition in London.
It is noticeable and apparent among younger painters from Los Angeles that there is a definable energy to grapple and wrestle with the perceived confines and constraints of their medium. Whether it be the creatively reactive nature induced through its art schools, or the legacy of its principle artists in the '60s and '70s, deconstructing, tampering, expanding, and enabling the potential of what an artwork is and can be remains a rich vein of expression. At first glance Annie Lapin's pictures seem to be content resting in the natural order of abstracted landscape painting. However it soon becomes clear that her impulse targets the historical understanding of painting — our perceptions of it, and what relevance such forms and associations have today.
Lapin's work details the impressionistic nature of recollection. Through her loose and foggy abstractions, she portrays the cognitive process of recalling a lost and historical moment. Her recent paintings have considered the thought processes of anterograde amnesiacs, people who have a foundation of memory, but cannot remember anything in their present beyond a few minutes back. Despite this, such people are able to maintain a fixed consciousness, and construct a unique and authentic experience of the present in real time, despite having little to no relationship to the past.
In almost every case, familiar forms in painting are relics of a fleeting social context we cannot access any more. These forms become shells or loose structures that we know and can recognize, but which take on a completely different function as their original content is lost for the contemporary viewer. Within painting, shifts in cultural memories free the form from its original purpose, allowing it to become a site for all sorts of projections: some individual-based, some collective. As the meanings of forms shift, the thing that remains is a psychological residue. By ejecting as much overt meaning as possible from her paintings, Lapin attempts to draw out that energy.
Searching for a particular clarity in each work, Lapin has focused on painterly forms that have been around for a while, and historically have some communicative purpose, such as landscapes and portraits. Due to the high level of associated content within such paintings, when Lapin employs them on the canvas as abstractions, they can radiate a kaleidoscope of spatial cues and meanings. Specific facets of this range of perception are then built up on the canvas, through the gentle destruction of an ordinary landscape. The aim is to disassociate herself from what such forms would normally represent, focusing instead on a surviving resonance even when content is confused.
Annie Lapin (b. 1978, Washington DC, USA) Lapin completed her MA at the University of California, Los Angeles, 2007. Previous solo exhibitions include Annie Lapin: Falk Visiting Artist, Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, 2013; Find Find ing, Yautepec Gallery, Mexico City, Mexico, 2012; and History =ing , Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum, Bloom Projects, Santa Barbara 2012. Selected group exhibitions include Stone Gravy, curated by David Pagel, Ameringer McEnery, New York, 2012; Incredulous Zealots: 4 Painterly Interrogations from LA, Josh Lilley, London, 2011; and The Open Daybook Exhibition, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions Los Angeles, 2011. Lapin lives and works in Los Angeles.