Puffery – Monique Lacey at Gray Contemporary, Houston, TX
West End artist, Monique Lacey’s solo exhibition at Gray contemporary in Houston Texas.
Monique Lacey is a New Zealand based Artist whose work addresses the notion that if a painting is a bounded volume, how can the skin or surface of that painting reveal or disguise its structure and what it contains.
The work manifests itself in the production of hollow, rectilinear-cuboid-forms, which present themselves as support and surface. The relationship between the front-facing plane and the sides of the work can challenge the traditional conventions of painting when the proportional relationships of scale are reconfigured.
Commercial packaging materials purchased at local hardware stores offer structural propositions of both volume and surface. The materials 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. While there is an adherence of truth to materials, the materials are used to construct a level of artifice in the work.
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.
The work finds is informed by Minimalism, the movement that ultimately became associated with the power of the boardrooms. Where this language of form and male-centered narratives were once central and perhaps pertinent, today this language seems outdated, hollow and tiresome. Thus the work functions as a commentary on the established legacies of power.