433 HARRISON AVENUE | BOSTON, MA 02118
September 7 – October 21, 2012
Opening Reception: Friday, September 7, 5:30-8pm
Laconia Gallery is pleased to present the first solo exhibition of paintings and
works on paper by Liette Marcil. Marcil creates exuberant, lyrical works using
patterning and an intuitive color sense to reference the abstractions of
aboriginal cultures. Born in Montreal, Canada and a Laconia Resident since
2005, her work reveals her own connections to Native American culture (her
father is part Native American) along with a keen interest in the repetition
and directness of Northern Australian Aboriginal art and other “primitive”
cultures, where the artist says “abstraction originated”.
Drawing with pencil and pastel onto flat areas of mixed media oil or acrylic
Marcil embraces a playful open-minded creative process. Using a consistent
scale and a dulled out, earthy palette the artist generates complex compositional
shifts which reference printed textiles and pottery while hand drawn
elements retain a childlike casualness. Color and outline drive the shifting
foreground and background relationships. Chance and experimentation
team up with an esoteric confidence that uses the serial format to create
both a context and a subtle narrative.
Years of studying Native American pottery and the spiritual beliefs of the
Amhem Land of North Western Australia has led Marcil to create her own
poetic interpretations of the symbolic language of the Mimih spirits. In
addition to having a sort of parallel existence and social structure to the
peoples of Northern Australia, the Mimih are said to have taught mankind
both dance and painting as well as game hunting.
“The Mimih Effect on Me” series has sustained the artist for over 4 years. The
exhibition focuses on new large canvases and panel works as well as
numerous studies and works on paper. To give context to the current works
examples of tiles and a few masks trace the early evolution of the use of flat
color and serial mark making in response to ancient cultures and myths.
Stylistically, they are usually depicted with very slender bodies and impossibly
thin necks that require them to seek shelter from the slightest wind. A
carved example of a Mimih figurative sculpture from the artist’s collection is
on view for reference. These abstracted figures appear in most of Marcil’s
work against a shifting background of puzzle piece forms that allow only a
shallow space for these Mimih to assemble.
Standing side by side in rows and reduced into mostly geometric forms, the
tall stacks of decorated blocks tilt and squeeze in an uneasy balancing act.
Some areas appear translucent allowing the patterned backdrop to show
through their bodies. Other figures seem to sway or lean perilously in the
wind–somewhat animated but not convincingly alive. As depicted by Marcil
Mimih characters become a playful exercise in abstraction through an
evocative use of color and vibrant patterning.
– James Hull, Exhibition Organizer