My paintings combine natural imagery and the language of abstraction in otherworldly landscapes that explore relationships between interior worlds and outer experience. Rooted in ancient cosmologies and traditions of the spiritual in art, my paintings are a forum for charting tumultuous feelings through depictions of an imagined natural world. Uncertainty about the environment compels me to empathize with aspects of the natural world through color, image, and gesture while exploring the various languages of painting.
Each painting begins with the suggestion of an atmospheric space. Washes, spills, and strokes of oil paint construct a place made from color. Backlit and shallow - I'm painting the illuminated middle ground, a forum between the certainty of a vanishing point and the tangible clarity of sharp focus. This otherworldly space becomes the site to layer a compilation of abstract gestures, familiar images, and suggestive forms.
The images are a personal lexicon derived from remembered feelings related to observations of natural phenomena. The petals of a dying flower, a vital organ in distress, a broken chunk of an iceberg, or a celestial event can inspire an image. Fractured, stacattoed line drawings join broad brush strokes and thick slabs of paint. A painting might suggest the tiny world under a microscope or the unseen space of the interior self.
In some works, seemingly plausible structures of foliage and flowers rise from exposed root systems, creating hybrid plants that are recognizable but strange. The images seem familiar, yet these fanciful plants cannot be attributed to a specific genus or species. The parts are logical, but the whole seems impossible, like something isn't right. Sometimes, the background's density overpowers an image as if to challenge its very existence. A giant plant-like figure rises behind a rainbow-colored form. Transformed and repositioned in a new context, scale, and distance become inconsequential. As I work, I wonder if aspects of our contemporary landscape will become unrecognizable. The probability of Climate dystopia compels me to empathize with parts of the natural world through color, image, shape, and gesture. Perhaps someday, we will struggle to identify that which was once tenderly familiar.
My influences flow from a painting matriarchy: the abstracted natural forms of Georgia O'Keefe, the esoteric landscapes of Agnes Pelton, Joan Mitchell's explosive brushstrokes, and the physicality of Elizabeth Murray's shaped canvases. Following this legacy, I continue to pursue abstract paintings' ability to express observed and internalized experiences. A paint-heavy brush can freeze gestures in space, preserving emotion. Swipes of paint obliterate a form once revered. I'm interested in finding what must be discarded and what must be carried forward.
Lawre Stone is a visual artist who makes paintings, works on paper and textile based pieces. After establishing her painting practice in Williamsburg Brooklyn in the 1990’s, she now lives and works in Ghent, NY. Her work has been featured in exhibitions at White Columns, NY, NY, P.S. 1 The Institute for Contemporary Art, NY, NY, The Ely Center for Contemporary Art, New Haven, CT, LABSpace, Hillsdale, NY, Thompson Giroux Gallery, Chatham, NY and Furnace Art on Paper, Falls Village, CT among others. In 2021 Stone’s one-person exhibitions, Poem For A Bird, at Tanja Grunert Gallery, Hudson, NY and Listening For Your Breathing In The Middle Of The Night at Joyce Goldstein Gallery, Chatham, NY were accompanied by a catalog with an essay by Sara Farrell Okamura. 2022 exhibitions include, The Silvery Water And The Starry Earth, an installation at Window On Hudson, sponsored by The Hudson Eye and Upstate Art Weekend and The Cipher, a one-person drawing exhibition at Tanja Grunert Gallery. Recent exhibitions include: NADA Foreland, presented by Tanja Grunert, Tree At My Window Collective, Upstate Art Weekend 2023, and Invocation For The Morning Star, a one-person exhibition of monoprints and quilt works at Russell Janis Projects, Brooklyn, NY, a New York Textile Month sponsored event. Her paintings are included in the 73rd A-ONE Exhibition at Silvermine Galleries, curated by Madeline Cornell, Director of Winston Wachter Fine Art, NY, NY. Lawre Stone holds a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design and an MFA from The Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College. In addition to her studio practice, she is an arts educator and is the Associate Director of Bard MFA.