Beginning October 28, 2021, Vito Schnabel Gallery will present Caitlin Lonegan: Interiors, the gallery’s first exhibition with the Los-Angeles based painter– and Lonegan’s first solo show in New York City. Interiors debuts a selection of new works from the artist’s ongoing Rainbow Paintings series, begun in 2018. The artist’s primary concern in this body of work is a specific perceptual phenomenon that Lonegan has only experienced in Los Angeles, in interiors that have enough exposure to the outdoors that they can be fully illuminated by natural light. Characterized by a dispersive, flickering light, each canvas is imbued with optical effects through which the viewer gradually experiences the full prismatic spectrum of color in unexpected ways. The works on view suggest the idea of a contained space, one that offers depth without being expansive, and the illusion of forms that project and recede, all while engaging the perception and movement of the viewer. With their ever-changing surfaces, carefully calibrated spaces, and subtle iridescence, the Rainbow Paintings offer an opportunity to experience that phenomenon, and provide further meditations on the relationship between sight and seeing.
The Rainbow Paintings return to a full spectrum palette of rich, full-bodied color sensations that Lonegan has not engaged with for nearly ten years. The range and complexity of hues reveal her acute sensitivity to color perception. In one canvas, smoky moss intermingles with the energy of rose and mulberry, an earthy sepia brown, and the dispersion of apricot and peachy nudes. White pigment woven with mustard yellow underpainting creates a slackened polygon shape in the center of the pictorial space, drawing the viewer’s eye inward and playing with the relationship of figure to ground. An arc of dark orbs curves around that interior depth; these colored spheres feel like objects that one might encounter in faint or hazy light.
On view through December 18, Caitlin Lonegan: Interiors will be on view at the gallery’s 43 Clarkson Street exhibition space in the West Village.
About the Artist
Caitlin Lonegan was born in 1982 in Long Island, NY. She received her BA from Yale University in 2005, where she studied applied physics and art, and her MFA from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2010. Lonegan’s interdisciplinary background and continually evolving interests in such topics as color theory, logic structures, and literary strategies have influenced the parameters of her compositions and the serial approach to the carefully considered layers and construction of her canvases.
For the last 15 years, Caitlin Lonegan has committed her painting practice to the language of abstraction. Working between several canvases at once over a span of months or even years, Lonegan’s durational, time-based process relies upon improvisation and observation. Lonegan has developed a dynamic relationship between painting and drawing, using the medium of pencil and paper daily to cultivate her painterly palette and method of mark making, and to calibrate the spatial illusions before she begins painting. Using drawing, Lonegan isolates areas of opticality, renders real or imagined forms, internalizes color relationships, evaluates movement – the gestalt – and develops the scaffolding for her compositions as she waits for the suspended layer of oil to dry before making her next gesture or adjustment. As her canvases shift from the wall to the floor and move from one wall to another, each maneuver, each new orientation hones in on the mechanics of vision. Lonegan’s understanding of how dexterous marks can be applied and play out across the expanse of the canvas is essential to her construction of a shifting, deep, active space.
Lonegan’s work has been subject of numerous group exhibitions including Abstract Painting Now! Gerhard Richter, Katharina Grosse, Sean Scully, Kunsthalle Krems, Krems, Austria (2017); the major survey show Made in L.A. 2014, UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA (2014); and Wake up Early Fear Death: Caitlin Lonegan, Rebecca Morris, Laura Owens, curated by Philipp Kaiser, Galerie nächst St. Stephan Rosemarie Schwarzwälder, Austria, Vienna (2014). Solo exhibitions include Galerie nächst St. Stephan Rosemarie Schwarzwälder, Vienna, Austria (2021, 2018); Susanne Vielmetter, Los Angeles, CA (2018); and ACME, Los Angeles, CA (2012; 2010). Lonegan’s works can be found in many museums and permanent collections, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA; Sammlung Goetz, Munich, Germany; Berezdivin Collection, Puerto Rico; Strauss Collection, Rancho Santa Fe, CA; Benton Museum, Pomona College, Pomona, CA; and SoArt Collection, Vienna, Austria.
Lonegan lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.
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