Abstract Works on Paper

Lili White’s previous works have often found their genesis in some found element of nature. A leaf, a shell, or related souvenir has been used as a starting point for a painting, video or installation piece. Often these works serve commentary on her experiences with Jungian thought.

In a new series of drawings she reverses her strategy by starting out with more modest art materials and finding a bit of nature.

These small drawings start with brush and ink lines that insinuate calligraphic forms on paper. A solid overlay of color, either metallic or opalescent, is then applied to obscure the lines of ink. Using various tools she engraves a drawing into the shiny surface. This secondary drawing interacts with the first to create a dizzying third that defies its two-dimensional plane. The kaleidoscopic results pulsate as the matte ink and glossy oil pastel reveal sub-patterns and meta-patterns. It’s like being at a party where Rousseau and Boccioni are both talking to you at the same time with a champagne buzz on. Elements lyrical, decorative, primitive and futuristic tumble together in these drawings like the cosmos one hopes to catch a glimpse of in Blake’s grain of sand.

Anthony McLaughlin — Philadelphia, 1998