Yancey Richardson is pleased to present Sixteen Collages, the second exhibition at the gallery by American artist Mary Lum. The exhibition comprises a series of sixteen small-scale photo and acrylic collages on paper, derived from the artist’s experience wandering the streets of Paris, London, Berlin, and New York.
Influenced by Cubism, Russian Constructivism, the Situationist International 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 advertising posters, the artist’s own 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 describes 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.”
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. Her work has recently featured in Invisible Cities at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA, and Tell It To My Heart at the Kunstmuseum fur Geganwartskunst in Basel, Switzerland. She has been the recipient of 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.