Fruit, Birds, Flowers, Trees

JUNE  3-24, 2023

LKIF Gallery presents a solo exhibition by Alice Macdonald. This is the artist’s first solo exhibition with the gallery and her first in Korea. The title ‘Fruit, Birds, Flowers, Trees’, is from the main elements of eight paintings presented in the show.

If you think about life, it is true that we pass many things nonchalantly. We are not always fascinated by mundane scenes of everyday life, but the artist has taken significant inspiration from the scenes she has witnessed. Macdonald’s practice focuses on the act of looking closer at life, and highlights often-ignored, subtle moments such as a glass of cherry liquor glowing in the sunlight, trees and flowers that show changing seasons, scenery outside the window while washing dishes, and the shining beaks of coots swimming on a dark pond. She conceives of her painting practice in relation to auto-fiction/auto-theory, using these autobiographical moments as the starting point for painting and thinking.

One interesting detail right off the bat about her paintings is that you see layers that are physically attached with glue. This collage is one of the significant factors in understanding her practice. She mobilizes collage as a vital strategy throughout her work. The artist uses distemper - rabbit skin glue mixed with pigment, both to paint the initial washes and layers of paint, and to glue cut out layers of fabric to the canvas. Finally, she adds brushstrokes in oil paint as a finishing touch. The collaged layers create both depth and flatness and break any illusion the painting might make. This underscores the fact that it’s not entirely mimesis of reality.

I think collage makes a feeling that the image is variable – it is a variation – it is a riff. I like that, I want the viewer to be aware that the image is a construction, and it is a rickety one. Perhaps it is a good metaphor for instability of the image and the fragility of the moment in time it depicts – the ephemeral and transitory nature of that initial drawn moment - which will never truly be captured.  Maybe this also reflects the idea that reality – as in the image that we construct – the stories we tell ourselves – is hanging by a thread, and also our reality in a less existential sense – our actual reality – our lives – are liable to change suddenly – because life always changes – we grow up, people leave our lives, new people come in. Things always change.

The painting is only a painting – a surface – an invention – not real.
The collage draws attention to the surface of the painting, reminding the viewer that it is only a painting, perhaps this is a form of honesty in presenting something that is essentially dishonest.

-Alice Macdonald

Macdonald’s art meditates on universality of life. As a gentle observer, the artist turns apathy into feeling, and leaves a room for the possibility of being interpreted autonomously by the subjectivity of the viewer.

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JAN 11-28, 2023

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