LOS ANGELES
SEPTEMBER2007

Marion Lane: “Chasing the Rabbit” at BLK/MRKT
The diversity of forms and colors in Marion Lane’s most recent body of work is drawn into a harmonious union by the artist’s laissez-faire attitude towards her materials. Lane consciously lets the acrylic medium determine its own shape, a method which results in the swirling, bubbling forms that have characterized Lane’s work over the past decade. The difference between this series and her earlier ones, as the title of the current show implies, is in how these shapes are perceived. Many of the representational markers have been stripped from Lane’s recent work, including the titles. The fat teardrop of paint may be a slug, a flower, a bird, or just a blob of paint. Lane identifies television as the aesthetic and intellectual inspiration for these paintings. Central to contemporary televisuality is the elaborate packaging of an idea by the mass media, which is, in turn, essential to determining its reception by the viewing public.

While this series offers fewer clues to naming the central image than Lane’s earlier work, the “Chasing the Rabbit” paintings seem even more explicitly situated in a distinctly human environment. One untitled painting focuses on several layers of concentric circles in luminous violet, sea foam, and white crowned by gelatinous pebbles of paint. These pearlescent blooms emanate from a ground that resembles cheap wood laminate and landlord beige walls. Other paintings situate similar invasions of organic forms in familiar environments; wild unbalanced shapes contrast with formal patterns, like the subdued stripes of parlor wallpaper or the disorienting checkerboard of deep reds and blues in corporate carpeting.

At the prompting of the title of Lane’s exhibition, the viewer is asked to identify the truth in these representations. Are these drug-induced hallucinations like Alice’s white rabbit? What does the supposed identity of an image reveal about its viewer? Against the background of domestic spaces rendered with simple stripes and luminous plaids, the strange forms appear ominous. Lane seems to warn that such images are on the verge of taking over, incapable of being restrained either by the edges of the canvas or the limits of the screen.
—KIM BEIL