Lynda Ballen, ‘Searching for Ultramarine I’, 2015, David Krut Projects

These works—as with recent works by Lynda Ballen—engage with the enterprise of mining, recognizing the worth of the products sourced as well as the destructiveness that is wrought, and the toil that is endured in the process.

Here, the mining of pigments is honoured—in this instance Ultramarine—from the stone lapis lazuli. This ‘true blue’, the most costly blue pigment has been for 6000 years, and has been traded as a precious colour for artists, notably during the Renaissance.

These drawings allude to the formal qualities inherent in 15th and 16th century printmaking. They are on a support of archival handcrafted pigmented paper, constituted of recycled, discarded artworks, that is layered over a matrix of thread.

The worth of mined products, and of the stratified earth, of paper and of traditional textiles—as stores of value—are inherent in these works. Moreover, the painterly coloured mark of the artist is revered in this context.

About Lynda Ballen