Monique Lacey

An ongoing tension between the legacy of de Stijl and Geometric Formalism, manifest in a sense of restraint and matter-of-factness, and the embrace of a baroqueness of surfaces is a driving force in the practice. The work attempts to investigate how ascetic restraints can be pushed against to reveal complexity of both surface and form, all the while remaining indebted to that asceticism.

Cardboard boxes purchased at local hardware stores offer structural propositions of both volume and surface. The boxes are assembled and covered with plaster and other materials, which act as both binding agent and new surface to conceal and/or reveal the structure underneath.

The initial building up of each form is countered by a crushing act that results in the form being either destroyed or substantially reconfigured. The act of crushing is a performative act using the body’s weight, and is one that can be playful, aggressive or cathartic.

In rethinking painting’s geometric-abstract history via sculptural considerations new questions arise. If painting is a bounded volume how can the skin or surface of that painting either reveal or disguise its structure and what it contains, and how can intricacy of form and surface emerge from a relatively ascetic, reductive language.

-Monique Lacey


Lacey’s feature in Vogue Living, September 2023

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