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'rak'rüm (noun);
the back room of an art gallery
where artists and art lovers hang
Recio4
Untitled (blk.gld.blk.), Lecia Dole-RecioLecia Dole-Recio, Untitled (blk.gld.blk.),
2008, Gouache, graphite, tape, glue, paper, cardboard, 35 7/8 x 37in
© Courtesy of Richard Telles Fine Art. LA
Untitled, Lecia Dole-RecioLecia Dole-Recio, Untitled,
2008, Gouache, graphite, tape, glue, paper, cardboard, 40 3/4 x 39 1/2 in
© Courtesy of Richard Telles Fine Art, LA
Untitled, Lecia Dole-RecioLecia Dole-Recio, Untitled,
2007, Gouache, graphite, tape, glue, paper, cardboard, 66 1/4 x 63 3/4 in
© Courtesy of Richard Telles Fine Art, LA
Untitled, Lecia Dole-RecioLecia Dole-Recio, Untitled,
2007, Graphite, gouache, glue, tape, paper and vellum, 75 1/2 x 72 in
© Courtesy of Richard Telles Fine Art, LA
Untitled, Lecia Dole-RecioLecia Dole-Recio, Untitled,
2006, Gouache, graphite, tape, glue, paper, vellum, 120 x 84 in
© Courtesy of Richard Telles Fine Art, LA
Untitled, Lecia Dole-RecioLecia Dole-Recio, Untitled,
2007, Gouache, graphite, tape, glue, paper, vellum, 90 1/2 x 84 in
© Courtesy of Richard Telles Fine Art, LA
Untitled, Lecia Dole-RecioLecia Dole-Recio, Untitled,
2006, Gouache, graphite, tape, paper, vellum, cardboard, 14 1/2 x 13 1/2 in
© Courtesy of Richard Telles Fine Art, LA
Untitled, Lecia Dole-RecioLecia Dole-Recio, Untitled,
2004, gouache, tape, paper, glue, vellum, 70 x 66"
© courtesy of the Artist and Richard Telles Fine Art
Untitled (gld.crvs.lnn.), Lecia Dole-RecioLecia Dole-Recio, Untitled (gld.crvs.lnn.),
2008, Acrylic on linen, 74 x 65.25” / 188 x 165.7cm
© Casey Kaplan Gallery
Untitled (bl.dmnds.ppr.trngls.crdbrd.cnvs.) , Lecia Dole-RecioLecia Dole-Recio,
Untitled (bl.dmnds.ppr.trngls.crdbrd.cnvs.) ,
2011, acrylic, glue, cardboard, canvas, 58 x 44 3/4 inches (147.3 x 113.6 cm)
© Courtesy of the Artist and Richard Telles Fine Art
Based in Los Angeles, Lecia Dole-Recio works in collage and mixed-media to create supremely elegant and vibrant abstractions that explore the play between translucency and opacity, inside and outside, light, color and materials. BIOGRAPHY Born 1971. San Francisco, California Lives and works in Los Angeles, California EDUCATION 2001 Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA; MFA 1994 Rhode Island...[more]


RackRoom
Interview with Lecia Dole-Recio

Los Angeles, 2008 - Lecia Dole-Recio's studio is set on the side of a picturesque hill in Echo Park nestled on a curvy street behind a wooden gate opening into a slant view of Los Angeles' plains of Id. Walking through an array of beautiful stepped flowerbeds full of colorful desert dwelling plants, you descend a staircase to make a right into one end of the post and lintel house. You find a smallish, rectangular room with a work table, an appointed cabinet and three white walls. Inside this space, Dole-Recio employs her knife to make beautiful collages, ranging from large to very small, which provide a complex meditation on the history of abstraction.

Dole-Recio is very much a formalist at heart, prompting Peter Schjeldahl to say that she "gives a sharp boost to the sagging fortunes of abstraction. Her large, unframed works on paper, entailing tiny cutout and collaged bits of painterly and geometric detail, are wonderfully decorative when glimpsed, and rivetingly thoughtful when perused." Dole-Recio's big debut was the 2004 Whitney Biennial and then a MOCA Focus show in August 2006. At that time, she worked primarily with vellum, paper, tape, and gouache, and the subsequent works were constellational fields of geometric patterns and soft, pastel colors.

In the last couple of years, Dole-Recio has continued to dive deeper into the history of abstraction by teaching at Cal Arts, studying the New York School and the reception of modernist abstraction around the world, and by visiting the Bauhaus Archive in Berlin. Her new work has become even more geometric, more contained within the frame of the painting, but retains a handmade quality that gives the work a vulnerable, charming surface.

Recently Christopher Knight named her one of the best painters in Los Angeles under 45.


Ed Schad:  When I met with you in your studio, we talked a great deal about your many influences and their evolving nature. You mentioned a trip to the Bauhaus Archive as being an important moment. Could you talk about that trip a little bit?

Lecia Dole-Recio:  Yes, that was a couple of years ago. I was really struck by these small textile studies by Gunta Stölz. They were these beautiful little gouache and watercolor paintings. I also saw student exercises from Kandinsky's and Klee's form, space, and color classes. I remember appreciating how stripped down they were. The building itself is incredible as well. A later design by Gropius, it incorporates curved lines so fluidly -- a rare example of combined grace and the institutional.

ES:  Could you talk a little bit about your working process, your technique of working between the floor and the wall, your use of different scales? You and your exacto knife seem to be close friends.

LDR:  I usually begin a piece with a structural plan which combines remnants from past works. As I begin to execute that initial plan, the structure shifts, formal relationships develop, and my decisions become based on those variables. I tend to work on several pieces at once, varying scales. That way, I'm constantly adjusting my perspective. However, everything's sort of in transition right now, I think I'm in the process of changing the way I work. 

ES:  Your work has seemed to change quite a bit since the Whitney or even the MOCA Focus exhibition. In that work, your imagery seemed to merge in burst of constellations and little windows - many of the forms seemed to hover on a field of improvisational color. Now, the fields are more dense, the palette more earthy and matte, the swatches of paper are sometimes thin and vertical, sometimes tectonic. Do you have a way of speaking about this change? How did it come about?

LDR:  I was able to think differently about the work, push things further towards the economical, the graphic. But, I'm still very invested in repetition, pattern, and gold gouache.

ES:  Lately, you've started to use photography in your work, to what I believe, are fascinating effects. When did you begin to use the photos, and how does it relate to your overall interests?

LDR:  That's an effect of the rules shifting. I've always used the Polaroid to make a note of where a painting is -- a souvenir from the studio to obsess on overnight. In a way, it's an extension of this idea. One piece's leftovers take on a significant role in another.

Lecia Dole-Recio, Untitled (shown in Whitney Biennial, 2004), 2003, Gouache, paper, vellum, tape, Courtesy of Richard Telles Fine Art.


ES:  Perhaps since the current Whitney Biennial closed on June 1, it would be good to ask about your experience in the 2004 biennial. Looking back over the show, did it have much of an impact on your career? How do you view the experience?

LDR:  That was exciting. So many people visit that show, see your work. After all of that, though, it's still very much about working -- looking, arranging, and wondering whether to paint that line in neutral or light gray.

ES:  With this Biennial, people seem to be talking about a continued move to humble materials, to a downplaying of flashy spectacle in art, and to renewed interest in craft and handmade work. In many ways, your work fits better in this Biennial than in the one you were actually in. How do you see these trends? Do you think the idea of "lessness" is valid or that the trend actually exists? If so, why?

LDR:  There's certainly a collective consciousness in art, like anything. I think that's part of what we do- engage and respond. It gives an interesting insight to certain histories, movements and collectives I'm interested in, like, Dada or the New York School.

Kurt Schwitters, Merzbau; Courtesy of Dave Palmer-Cut & Paste


ES:  Peter Schjeldahl, I remember, was very complementary of your work, and in your studio, you mentioned an ongoing dialogue with the New York School of painting. How do you see your work in relation to and as an extension to that long lineage of work?

LDR:  I'm all over the place in terms of influence: from early twentieth century Viennese furniture design to Schwitters' Merzbau to the night club in Jean-Pierre Melville's film, Le Samourai. But, I have to say, watching (Frank) Stella talk about his work in the documentary, Painters Painting, gives me goose bumps.

ES:  This may not be fair, and you don't have to answer, but considering you do think about an often very east coast issues of abstraction, how do you see your work in relation to Los Angeles? What are some of the people you look to for inspiration in L. A.? I remember discussing with you the recent, renewed interest in figures like Karl Benjamin, John McLaughlin, and Mary Heilman.

LDR:  Yes, the west coast formalists. I do admire those artists, as well as people who've been working with sculpture and installation: Vincent Fecteau, Richard Hawkins and Patrick Hill, to name a few. Perhaps it's the geography, but, there is a strong potential for an internal, or hermetic existence in Los Angeles.

ES:  Could you talk a little bit about your upcoming projects and shows? Where can people see your work in the upcoming year?

LDR:  I'm going to have a show at Richard Telles Fine Art, here in Los Angeles, in January.


ARTslant would like to thank Lecia Dole-Recio and Richard Telles Fine Art for their assistance in making this interview possible.

-- Ed Schad

 

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