Charles Moffett is pleased to present Loquats, a solo exhibition by Los Angeles-based painter Lily Stockman. The inaugural exhibition for the new gallery, Loquats will feature a series of new biomorphic abstractions for which Stockman is best known, but in rapturous palettes that could only otherwise exist in the garden. Stockman's reverence for the particular geographies central to 20th century abstract painting - from Milton Avery's New England coastline to Agnes Martin's desert southwest and Billy Al Bengston's Los Angeles - set her work upon the armature of American abstraction, but with a compositional confidence and painting language wholly her own.
Stockman, who splits her time between Los Angeles and Joshua Tree, paints flat on sawhorses freehand, working up her elegant surfaces in thin layers of oil. Many of the works on view reference places and things brought on by spring, like her iconographic Morning Glory, a celebration of the rite of spring and a nod to the otherworldly Holy Virgin blue made from ground lapis by Renaissance painters from Fra Angelico to Gerard David. The abstracted works reveal nascent elements of their titles, from the gridded lanes of Glassell Park Pool, to the mollusk shapes of Coastguard Beach. The title of the show itself is a reference to Anne Truitt's A Wall for Apricots, which Truitt thought of as a marriage of color and surface, as well as the ornamental loquat tree ubiquitous around Los Angeles, which bursts into fruit in springtime. The semi-transparent flesh of the apricot-like fruit contains an inner heart of dark brown seeds; when the light hits it just so the fruits seem to glow from within, an idea that inspired Stockman's use of light and color in her paintings.
Color plays a critical role in Stockman's paintings, an essential tool used to open up and close off pictorial space. Many of her paintings, like the arcade-like Albert Hall, feature a muted palette of salmon pinks, pale daffodil yellows, and misty whites. Other works, like Potted Geraniums and Sapote, feature transparent and opaque layers of complimentary, high-key colors that open up ecstatic space within the picture plane, revealing the background, middleground, and foreground in her stacked layers of marks. In her quietest paintings the subtle tonal and temperature shifts between warm and cool greys, as in Quaker Meeting, read like complete thoughts, foggy morning haikus sent as love letters to New York from the canyons of Los Angeles.
Lily Stockman lives and works in Los Angeles and Joshua Tree, California. Stockman graduated from Harvard University where she studied painting and botany. She has apprenticed in Buddhist thangka painting at the Union of Mongolian Artists in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, and studied Indian miniature painting in Jaipur, India. Stockman received her MFA in studio art from New York University in 2013, where she taught undergraduate painting. Most recently Stockman exhibited work at Regen Projects in Los Angeles.