Empathy by Lacey Bryant
Oil on Panel, 8″ x 10″, 13.75″ x 11.5″ x 1.25″ with frame
Current Exhibition at Flower Pepper Gallery: Summer Mood: A Cash & Carry Exhibition from July 1st to 26th, 2017
Previous Exhibition at Flower Pepper Gallery:
- Summer Flies, Curated by Walt Hall from June 28th to August 1st, 2014
Lacey Bryant was born in Louisville, KY and raised in the SF Bay Area. She was homeschooled as a child and spent most of her time making artwork, reading and creating elaborate games of make believe with her younger brother. She finds inspiration in the natural environment of California as well as with the faded Victorian houses and the various forgotten treasures she discovers walking around in the city, suburbs and country.
Combining many disparate parts, she creates surreal narrative vignettes with anachronistic elements in brushy and deliberate oil paint. She uses repeating motifs to symbolize contrasting dichotomies such as connection and isolation, decay and growth, life and death.
“Lacey Bryant creates a pervasive ambiance of both nostalgia and estrangement, and familiarity with undercurrents of the unknown…Whereas with many paintings audiences examine what is on the canvas, it is far more intriguing in Bryant’s works to examine that peculiar disparity of what is seen and what lies just beyond; where connections are made and lost between these episodic vignettes: crows upon a set table for a tea party in the rain, or the anonymous figure braiding another’s hair on a bed in a field covered with snow. Each one of these small stories are at once fashioned together and fall asunder, grasping to be reformed into coherency from some time long ago.”
“Common elements that bind these illustrations together: grassy fields, spiral staircases that seem to lead nowhere, or even curtains seem to be often used as significant figurative connections. They frame each scene’s composition of inherent dichotomies: of the building up and breaking down, of plasticity and yet the organic assemblage of the dreamscape — which is not just a dream as it contains elements of reality. Each one of Bryant’s female characters look similar, but differ in age, size, or other small physical characteristics; it’s left unclear whether they intend to represent one woman’s travels through a surrealist subconscious or if they are all explorations of many different paths by disparate women. Bryant’s use of found wood, of which the ones at Modern Eden what look to be cabinet doors for kitchens, offer more textured layers of history, memory, and repurpose. In this way, Bryant’s paintings, left with traces of others’ histories and including ambiguous applications of ever-changing memories to a static picture plane, invite audiences to not only attempt to read into Bryant’s intentions, but to find personal meaning as well.”
- Monique Delaunay. Editor, SF Art Enthusiast, 2014
“Simply put, Lacey is building a world. Or maybe she’s a window, through which we can see what she sees; the things she paints are not directly related to each other, but they occupy the same ecosystem, as clearly as salt grass and snowy egrets. A person describing a world might notice only the key predators, but through Lacey’s work we see it all, bugs and trees, decomposition and blossoms, land and sea and sky and doors. Her world is all soaked in strange familiarity, uneasy comfort, the persistence of fragile things.”
- Kai Stewart, 2011