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JH

Evocatively Churning & Pulsing Lawlors

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Erin Lawlor, Ariadne and the Minotaur, 2023, oil on canvas, 200 X 410 cm Erin Lawlor: Jazz, Baby, 2023, oil on canvas, 200 X 300 cm Erin Lawlor: Jazz, Baby, 2023, oil on canvas, 200 X 300 cm; Bacchanal (Evening), 2023, oil on canvas, 200 X 400 cm Erin Lawlor, Bacchanal (Evening), 2023, oil on canvas, 200 X 400 cm Erin Lawlor, Bacchanal (Evening), 2023, detail, oil on canvas, 200 X 400 cm Erin Lawlor, Ariadne's Dance, 2023, oil on canvas, 190 X 130 cm Erin Lawlor, Wave, 2024, oil on canvas, 40 X 30 cm Erin Lawlor, Minotaur (Dream), 2023, oil on canvas, 160 X 360 cm Erin Lawlor: Minotaur (Night) 1, 2023, oil on canvas, 160 X 120 cm; Minotaur (Night) II, 2023, oil on canvas, 160 X 120 cm Erin Lawlor, Heat, 2024, oil on canvas, 40 X 30 cm Installation shot of Erin Lawlor's Ariadne's Thread, at Fox Jensen MCrory. Erin Lawlor, Joy, 2023, oil on canvas, 190 X 130cmM Erin Lawlor, Swagger, 2023, oil on canvas, 190 X 130 cmM

Their constantly churning movement is distinctive. Though ‘revolving' they are not vehemently turbulent, for they have a calming caressing quality, and generate many sorts of free-association for an imaginative viewer. For example, they can be seen vaguely as spray-drenched choppy frothy waves, wind rippling through multi-coloured patches of long grass, or blurred gyrating particles hovering above a wildly agitated bumping board.

Auckland

 

Erin Lawlor
Ariadne’s Thread


9 February - 9 March 2024

The most lively works by English artist, Erin Lawlor, in this Fox Jensen McCrory show of nine differently sized and textured paintings, feature tumbling and turning brushstrokes made with stiff bristles on wide brushes. Dry over wet paint has been applied so that the resulting curling trajectories make the forms akin to twisted wood shavings from a large carpenter’s plane—but densely packed together. In my view, these delicately ‘striated’ works are the most intriguing.

Their constantly churning movement is distinctive. Though ‘revolving’ they are not vehemently turbulent, for they have a calming caressing quality, and generate many sorts of free-association for an imaginative viewer. For example, they can be seen vaguely as spray-drenched choppy frothy waves, wind rippling through multi-coloured patches of long grass, or blurred gyrating particles hovering above a wildly agitated bumping board. Or to continue mentally drifting, fusilli pasta spirals, the mentioned carpentry shavings, or impulsively flung feather boas. Or more. We see paint moving beyond being just paint. Viewer memories take over.

The title comes from a method of problem solving using logic, the keeping of records, and the testing of all the alternative possibilities. The ‘thread’ reference is a method to enable backtracking and checking for errors, dropping a line as if negotiating to and fro around a maze—and noting every move as a precaution. The ‘maze’ of course is studio working processes and techniques, over a long period of time.

Lawlor is very careful with her calculatedly subdued colours, especially the dark chromatic tones that subtly pulse and twist in the background, while the merged clumps of paler forms hover in front.

Her large blue/grey/reddish-brown based panoramic works are particularly physical, spatially adventurous and beautifully moody. Strangely sly in their controlled emotion through glowing shapes of the softest of light, they could almost be electrically enhanced, and slowly motorised.

John Hurrell

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