Yancey Richardson Gallery is pleased to present Small Structures, the inaugural exhibition at the gallery for artist Mary Lum. The exhibition comprises a series of small-scale photographs and acrylic based collage works on paper, hung end to end in a line encircling the project gallery space.
Influenced by the Situationist Interna-tional movement and Guy Debord’s concept of psycho-geography, Lum’s interdisciplinary practice uses the urban environment as a foundation from which to explore geometric abstraction, perspectival space, and color field. Photographs of city streets and alleys, signage and storefronts are fragmented and stripped of their loci within Lum’s layered, often disorienting arrangements of color and line.
The collages combine excised fragments from comic books, photographs, and planes of bright color in varying combinations that allude to the transitory state of urban space. Lum’s esthetic stretches and expands perspectival space and then collapses it into dense layers of color and pattern. Writing for ArtForum on the occasion of a 2009 exhibit, Emily Hall states that “the combination turns out to be breathtaking, full of the movement of time and space…But these spaces are more than physical: They are metaphorical, psychological, temporal. Here is modernism’s orderly progression upended by Escher’s splendid illogic.”
Six paintings by Lum are currently on display in the exhibition Invisible Cities at MASSMoCA, in North Adams, MA, through February 3, 2013.
Mary Lum was born in St. Cloud, Minnesota. She received her BFA from the University of Michigan and her MFA from the Rochester Institute of Technology. She has received numerous awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship (2010), the Radcliffe Fellowship for Advanced Study (2004-2005), and a McDowell Colony Fellowship (2012). She is a professor of painting and drawing at Bennington College, in Bennington, VT.