The work of Lucy McKenzie often crosses from fine art into other fields and her recent
painting installations combine conceptual concerns with those of craft, heritage and
commercial art. This work is informed by studies at a Brussels school for specialist
decorative painting, Ecole Van Der Kelen-Logelain, which espouses an approach rooted
in the 19th century artisan tradition. The new works that Lucy McKenzie presents under
the title “Slender Means” at Galerie Daniel Buchholz embodies this dual purpose; all
potentially have several uses.
In the novella of 1963 “The Girls of Slender Means”, the Scottish writer Muriel Sparks
documents the lives of the respectable yet impecunious young women living in The May
of Teck Club situated in post war Kensington. The club occupies a traditional town house,
now divided into dormitories and small private rooms to house the single women.
Referencing this spare, precise book, Lucy McKenzie creates four paintings to fit
exactly in the exhibition space of Galerie Daniel Buchholz at Neven-DuMont-Strasse.
This environment conveys the process by which a bourgeois home is transformed
when its original inhabitants, large wealthy families, are supplanted by modern dwellers,
and ultimately abandoned completely. While producing this work in her studio in Brussels
Lucy McKenzie used part of the paintings as a set for the upcoming film "Le Coin du Diable"
by Belgian artist and film maker Lucile Desamory.
The quodlibet table top shows objects from the archive of Viennese hat manufacturer
Mühlbauer, founded in 1903 and still family owned. The trompe l'oeil painting will be
used for their Autumn / Winter 2011 advertising. Lucy McKenzie, together with textile
designer Beca Lipscombe is part of the design collective Atelier, who are currently in
collaboration with the company Mühlbauer producing a series of hats, that will be
presented in Atelier’s first fashion collection next year. The table is accompanied by
a series of works on paper, also conceived for use as advertising images. For many
years the artist has produced posters for concerts and art events. Now working within
Atelier she extends this to fashion and design, continuing to work with independent
groups and individuals with whom she shares the ethos of self sufficiency.
A comprehensive selection of the print works by Lucy McKenzie are in the collection
of the Museum Ludwig, Cologne, and will be on display there from December 10, 2010,
to June 26, 2011, in an installation that is especially developed for this occasion by the
The desk in the third room of the exhibition is a piece of furniture that Lucy McKenzie
developed and fabricated in association with architect Hubert Debiesme and cabinet maker
David Boussier. It is designed to house and display the archive of printed card editions by
Scottish artist Ian Hamilton Finlay who died in 2006, commissioned for this purpose by a
private collector for his personal use.