Stephen Wirtz Gallery presents Paintings, an exhibition of new watercolor and mixed media works by Laurie Reid.
Paintings showcases a lively and poetic interplay of materials, as Reid extends the watercolor medium into experimental territory—at once an audacious confrontation and a friendly association between works on paper and linen that individually and collectively defy easy categorization. While the exhibition is simply titled Paintings, Reid has unconventionally assigned a second title to the works,Every Tree is The Tree of Life, suggesting a deeper purpose and connection among the works included.
Known for engaging watercolor in ways that are uniquely contemporary, Reid’s new work continues and expands this approach, via abstract, minimalist paintings that emphasize precision one on end of a continuum and chance on the other, bringing both into a harmonious and cooperative balance, invoking new, penetrating notions of form and space. The quirks of the watercolor medium beautifully occupy center stage, while the organic “tree of life” in Reid’s second title reveals itself through her imaginative uses—both discretely and in tandem—of linen and paper surfaces that introduce a clever and moving dimensionality.
In these works, linen paintings wrap themselves around wooden stretchers with a symbiotic and serene looseness, some with unfolded corners, in active states of unraveling. Reid’s brushwork, at times applied with the tender lightness of an exhaled breath, engages with the woven texture of the linen, seeping and bleeding, investigating the limitations and the possibilities of surface. Other works bring together watercolored linen with light paper cut-outs that push through the surface, like trees from the earth, echoing the minimalist yet explosively transcendent qualities of Brancusi’s bird in space sculptures.
Paintings is an exhibition in which Reid’s work reaches out to the viewer through its intimate poetry, belying the underlying and delicate interaction of intuition and calculation that form their hearts.
LAURIE REID (born Minneapolis, MN) received an MFA from California College of the Arts in 1996 and a BA in French Literature from Reed College in 1986. Reid’s recent collaborative work with Benjamin Echeverria has been exhibited at Gallery 16 and [2nd floor projects] in San Francisco, and new work by Reid is included in the current exhibition Watercolors, curated by Kristin Sanken, at Phillips de Pury, New York. In 2000 Reid exhibited in the Whitney Biennial and in 1999 she was the recipient of a SECA Award from SFMOMA. Her work is included in the collections of SFMOMA, The Museum of Modern Art, NY, Hammer Museum, the Whitney Museum, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art among many others.