Margie Livingston: Holding it Together
Luis de Jesus
2685 S La Cienega Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90034
April 23 – May 28, 2016
Skin—dragged and torn, wrapped and layered, weeping and fossilized—resonates from Margie Livingston’s latest exhibition, Holding it Together. On view at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles, Livingston’s exhibition offers nine pieces that contemplate structure and form as an enduring plexus. Acrylic and leather are employed as canvases, which become the base by which Livingston plays with and blurs sculpture, painting, and dimensions. These pieces, what Livingston names “paint objects,” reach out from the walls and draw in the light of the gallery, glowing and nearly vibrating, beckoning viewers for a closer look.
In Dragged Painting with Harness (2016) and Dragged Painting, Small (2016) Livingston uses a white acrylic mixture stretched over a frame, which is then trailed from her walking body. The thick and sturdy acrylic grinds and cracks under the gravel and grit of the street, leaving holes and sharp cuts along its surface. Bits of cement, rocks, and sediment find their way into the undercarriage showing the fractured nature of created skin. While, Dragged Painting, Small (2016) is wrapped with a trail of rope and was walked via hand, Dragged Painting with Harness (2016) has the loosened hand sewn straps and crumpled collection of buckles and fabric to which Livingston’s torso was bound. The dutiful trek that Livingston carried out is remarked upon in the canvas’s blistering and splintering skin. Here, endurance and the capacity to be held together are recorded as a bruising and rupturing emblem of the exhausted body.
With Falling Grid with Reinforced Floor (2016), Holding it Together (2016), and Slouching Grid (2015) Livingston shifts towards reticulation as a type of organic compound. White acrylic paint engulfs string, which delicately layers a sequence of squares. Near collapse and imperfect by design these pieces cast brilliant shadows, illuminating their tenuous position and sentient possibilities.
In this body of work Livingston demonstrates a wondrous mastery of material and form in which boundaries—between sculpture and painting, between surface and depth, between the biological and synthetic—are her liminal offerings of new fields. Holding it Together is on view at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles until May 28th.