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Green World

Lauren Luloff's direction of using silk as a medium for her paintings presents as a reflection of the fragility of the natural world that inspires her motifs. In her upcoming exhibition Green World at SOCO Gallery she presents a series of recent dyed silk works that are said to prompt conversations between light and space, each representing a specific moment in time.

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C-P: The title of your new exhibition at SOCO Gallery; Green World could suggest a celebration but also a wry scrutiny of the state of the natural world today. What can be said about your ideas at hand?

L.L: I am extremely concerned about the environment. My work attempts to pay homage to the beauty of the natural world and includes my anxiety about how this beauty might be destroyed. I am in love with the landscape and feel an urgency to capture it in all of its stages. My use of silk as a medium for my paintings reflects this fragility. The light material is more vulnerable, needs care and is a living orgasm (a protein fiber). On a personal note, I moved my life and my studio to Maine almost two years ago in order to be closer to nature and draw inspiration from its subtle and awe-inspiring shifts and wonders.

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C-P: What are the techniques and processes you have been working with for this exhibition?

L.L: I use silk and dye as my primary medium. I learned the craft years ago, after many years of painting with varying strengths of bleach on bedsheets. The shift to dye offered a vast range of new color possibilities and potentials. I first stretch the silk and apply a substance called ‘no flow’ in order to prime the surface and hold the dye in place. Most of the paintings in Green World are created en plein air, observed forms from the environment in front of me, basic landscape forms simplified, distilled and replicated with carefully selected colors.

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C-P: In the realm of textile-based art; who have been your influential figures over time and who are some peers you might want to take a moment to shine light on?

L.L: Sam Gilliam, Alan Shields, Dona Nelson and David Hammons are my heroes. They have all transformed the idea of painting with their material intensity. I also love Julia Bland’s large, overwhelming and experimental weaving paintings. And Helen Frankenthaler’s – her pours, shapes and forms.

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C-P: The “art world” is rapidly changing; how do you view the current landscape as compared to when you graduated with an MFA from Bard?

L.L: I had just joined Facebook while I was finishing up my MFA and I remember being very grateful for all the openings fellow artists posted so that I could find them easily and attend. I was a bit lost before. I still think the art world is about meeting people and talking in person. I was in NYC for over 20 years and think all that hard work made my shift out to Maine easier as I had an existing network and foundation. The pandemic shifted so much in the art world - I am now able to stay connected through zoom studio visits and online/social media correspondence.

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C-P: What’s coming up next for you in 2023?

L.L: After my openings this fall in Chicago and Charlotte, I will retreat with my family to Maine to dive further into my art work. I am working towards another show with Ceysson & Benetiere, in NYC or Lyon, in the spring.

Ashik Zaman

Lauren Luloff's solo exhibition Green World opens at SOCO Gallery in Charlotte, North Carolina, on November 9 and runs through December 31


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