Sunday, February 28, 2016

Pat Lay at Aljira through March 19th

The earliest work in Pat Lay's impressive retrospective at Aljira : ceramic wall pieces describing urban topographies.
Lay was based in Buffalo at the time.
Aljira link (through March 19th)

An Asian garden-inspired grid, which Marcia Tucker selected for the 1975 Whitney Biennial, just five years after Lay relocated to Manhattan.
Detail of the Asian Garden grid floor work, recalling Jennifer Bartlett and Pat Steir's grids. 

Smaller garden works.
Lay's interest in African and Asian culture was already clear.
In the 1980s, Lay took a technical welding class and began working with wood and marble.

She made totemic structures inspired by African sculpture, which also recall  Louise Bourgeois
A variety of shapes gathered together, presaging her later , figurative works inspired by African avatar-like forms that assemble objects from the person's life and gather them together.
The quality of surface on these works is astounding. Ceramic on welded steel armatures.
Lay began to work smaller, using metals and graphite from Kremer. This is late '80s, early '90s. She then made a collage, below, referencing Buddhism and technology (lower left). From there, her work forked in two directions: sculptural heads with technological detritus attached, as if the heads were African devotional figures, and collaged scrolls of repetitive patterns from computer motherboards, the holes beneath keyboards, and other phenomena.

By this time, Lay had traveled frequently to China, Thailand and Indonesia.

The front room at Aljira (exhibition moves from back to front, chronologically) with portrait heads and scrolls.

Persian miniatures inspired Lay to break prescribed formats...

Setting up boundaries then breaking them. These recent works are digital prints.

Lay has been working with digital print on Kozo paper, which thin, absorbent surface allows the color to saturate.

The prints on Kozo are mounted, with hand-painted strips of metallic paint or gold leaf, on Tyvek.

The artist Pat Lay.

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