Laurie Karp Seven Lakes Drive
FROM MARCH 13th TO SEPTEMBER 2nd 2018
© Laurie Karp. Cliché : S. Sagart
Her training at the Rhode Island School of Design offered Laurie Karp an opportunity to explore many different media, and, having completed her studies, she then experimented with a wide range of techniques from ceramic to painting and video. With her taste for hybridisation, as much in her shapes as in her creative techniques, a single work by the artist is often a combination of these diverse means of creative expression. By interweaving and overlapping different types of image, she is able to combine sculptural shapes with drawings or video. In the same spirit, she associates image and textile : creating digital images but using traditional embroidery techniques, each pixel carefully suggested by the work of her needle. But it is to the world of ceramics that she returns most frequently, bringing life to a strangely organic universe. Using the rich effects made possible by enamel, she strives to evoke a fabulous diversity of textures and materials. Often anatomical fragments, shreds or internal organs, her small carnal shapes give the impression that they are destined for some barbarian feast. Cruelty is never far away.
Playing with the appeal of the techniques associated with the decorative arts, Laurie Karp sketches disconcerting scenes where the relationship between man and beast becomes ambiguous. Her vision of nature is far from that of an idyllic, unchanging Eden. She sees it as something more theatrical, a tragicomedy where the actors are driven by desire and hunger. Their fatal embrace, a battle of tooth and nail, is veiled by the apparent charm of the ceramic or the embroidery. This is the spirit behind her conception of most of the items created for the exhibition in the Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature.
Produced during a residence at the Musée de la Céramique in Desvres, a set of enamelled earthenware works explores the theme of the forest. But that of water is never far from her work with organic scale-covered shapes set alongside condensed landscapes, all within installations where the artist leaves the observer to elucidate the intrigue. Liquid is an ever-present element, but here it has been channelled through a proliferation of pipes that become a resurgence of wisteria flowers. At the Manufacture de Sèvres – Cité de la Céramique, Karp has also produced an ensemble of porcelain sculptures intended for those rooms of the Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature that house its collection of paintings. Taking inspiration from the shapes, decoration and techniques intrinsic to the repertory of the manufactory, founded at the initiative of the Marquise de Pompadour, she has created an ensemble that is falsely reassuring. With humour and ferocity the collection dissimulates a multitude of little crimes committed under the cover of its rococo-style decoration.