Born This Way is not a comment on Lady Gaga’s new CD nor did the pop star inspire my exhibition. Born This Way is a comment on a life outside the mainstream. Not all artists live in that fringe zone, but some do. I do. This status has given me the opportunity to create, propagate and advance an imagined construct—a richly populated world, through which I am able to communicate. Sounds strange? Not to someone who is able to speak the language.
I’ve developed a trove of imagery—both representational and non-representational— and used as a lexicon, I express and comment on important current issues and ideas. My main focus is human interface with the natural world and my acceptance of things the way they are—meaning an attitude accepting of imperfection’s guiding light.
My studio practice consists exclusively of oil paintings—some very large and some small. As an adjunct to this work, I love making diminutive gouache paintings. They are like miniatures of the species, employing a similar vernacular, while displaying the same fierceness as their larger kin.
Manipulating gouache is very different than manipulating oil paint but more notable is the scale. When I make the miniature work my mind and focus are entirely different, with the most critical demand being my ability to focus entirely on something that small. I have the experience of working with only my eyes and mind almost as if no body were attached—this experience is heightened by sitting versus standing when creating the work.
The interesting thing about doing small work is that the ideas are no less potent but the body and time investment is, that is to say, the ideas travel faster in small work because the execution time is less. It’s the best way I know to keep advancing one’s vision, because these small gouache paintings are more than simply ideas of the thing—they are, in and of themselves, complete works of art, fully resolved both conceptually as well as visually.
Offramp Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition, Lisa Adams: Born This Way from September 11 - October 9, 2011. There will be an opening reception for the artist on Sunday, September 11 from 2-5pm.
Each of the 16 never-before-seen gouaches included in Born This Way is a small gem revealing the artist unplugged, as it were. Adams lets the fortuitous bleeds and drips of a water-based medium form abstract elements in her work, which in turn inform more deliberate representational images. Plants, flowers and birds are juxtaposed with geometric shapes and fragments of an often scarred landscape forming a tension between the natural, imaginary and manmade worlds -- all of which Adams seems to effortlessly inhabit. The intimate domestic and garden setting of Offramp Gallery provides the perfect backdrop for these small works.
In her artist's statement, Adams says of Born This Way: "The interesting thing about doing small work is that the ideas are no less potent but the body and time investment is, that is to say, the ideas travel faster in small work because the execution time is less. It’s the best way I know to keep advancing one’s vision, because these small gouache paintings are more than simply ideas of the thing—they are, in and of themselves, complete works of art, fully resolved both conceptually as well as visually."
Offramp Gallery will host a book signing for Adams' forthcoming monograph book, Vicissitude of Circumstance, artist's talk and closing reception on Sunday, October 9 from 2-5pm. Vicissitude of Circumstance is being published by ZERO+ Publishing, with a release date of mid-September, 2011. Pre-order Vicissitude of Circumstance, and get a 30% discount by clicking here.