Kristy Luck b. 1985 in Woodstock, IL

Kristy Luck’s paintings are windows into psychological spaces where forms emerge from fluid gestures and rich colors. Building upon sketches, her surreal landscapes evoke a subconscious understanding of space and objects. The titles give viewers a glimpse of her intentions and the imagery and patterns echo historical depictions of women in melancholic or revelatory states. 


In her most recent body of work, Luck includes motifs of erupting volcanoes, bursting blooms, and spinning tornadoes, all events that signal transformation. At the same time, these shapes are open so that viewers can also bring their own associations and readings of the scenes. Luck’s work encourages interpretation and singular connections. The artist has said, “I am trying to find a visual language for personal melancholia and intuition; melancholia not as a pathology, but as an illuminating discourse with oneself, and intuition as subconscious pattern recognition. I’m interested in how these emotional experiences have been dismissed or devalued when associated with the ‘feminine mind.’” 


Kristy Luck’s soft edges and washes of color grow out of a rigorous painting process. Luck builds the colorful compositions on the canvas methodically, working on multiple paintings at once. This distance from an individual work allows her the space to weigh each movement. This deliberation is evident in the tonal balance of each work. Luck’s expressions of color and light result in moody paintings that draw viewers in. In the artist’s own words, “I want my surfaces to generously reveal their making to the viewer in visible, built-up layers and repeated patterns. At the same time, I let the forms in the image slip out of grasp to evoke personal or private mystery.” Kristy Luck aims for each work to be generous in its clarity of material, but nebulous in its meaning. It is in this tension between the physical and the psychic nature of painting that the work is most rewarding for close viewers. 


Kristy Luck (b. 1985, Woodstock, IL) received a BFA from Rockford University (Rockford, IL) and a MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago, IL). Her work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at Philip Martin Gallery (Los Angeles, CA); ODD ARK LA (Los Angeles, CA); Eastside International (Los Angeles, CA); and Tiger Strikes Asteroid (Chicago, IL). Additionally, her work has been included in group shows at Torrance Art Museum (Torrance, CA); Jacob’s West (Los Angeles, CA); 0-0LA (Los Angeles, CA); Guerrero Gallery (San Francisco, CA); Corbett vs. Dempsey (Chicago, IL); A Public Space (Fishers Island, New York); and Projet Pangée (Montreal, Canada). Luck was awarded the Lighthouse Works Fellowship in 2017. Her work has been featured in numerous publications including Art in America, Los Angeles Times, Architectural Digest, Artillery Magazine, Whitehot Magazine, The Editorial Magazine and Opening Ceremony. Luck lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.


In the Studio: Kristy Luck