Laurie Nye: Sugar Tree Landing

17 February - 3 March 2021

Philip Martin Gallery is proud to present, "Sugar Tree Landing," an on-line exhibition of new oil-on-canvas paintings by Laurie Nye. Laurie Nye's paintings engage line, shape and space in dynamic shifts of vibrant color.

In Laurie Nye's work, painting is itself a motif, one that offers utopia, expression and freedom, particularly when depicting nature. Nye's paintings of trees and gardens, rivers and birds have parallels in the work of American Pictorialist photographers like Anne Brigman, an artist who believed in using her medium to "create" images rather than simply record them. At the same time, in Nye's work there is a conversation with American modernism, especially as it appears in the South, and in the work of artists such as Beauford Delaney, who like Nye, is from Tennessee.

"I grew up on rivers and lived next to a big one, the Mississippi," Nye comments. "Rivers are one of the only places where I feel free and yet grounded other than in my studio." Fishing on the Tennessee River, "I tangled many a line on stumps before it felt natural.” Nye's words subtly underline the commonality in human creative activity; her comments remind us of Claude Monet's famous "Bateau-atelier," the studio-boat in which the French master explored the environs of the Seine around Argenteuil.

In Nye's work, nature is a place of self-discovery, connection and celebration. She paints in "flowing labyrinths," one critic writes, activating a personal "cosmological mythos based on science fiction and ecofeminism.” For her part, Nye quotes John Sawhill, "In the end, our society will be defined not only by what we create but by what we refuse to destroy.” A love of the environment and painting run throughout Nye's work: we see how paintings work and how they are made; how we think about what they depict and how we experience them. Nye's vivid brushwork, succinct color, and sophisticated use of line breaks up the picture plane, emphasizing its materiality, flatness, and the construction of painterly space. Nye's work comments on European modernists like Matisse or Mondrian, as well as British landscape painters like Paul and John Nash. Her paintings suggest possibility in our relationship with nature, highlighting and strengthening that fundamental bond.

Laurie NYE (b. 1972, Memphis, TN) received her BFA from the Memphis College of Art (Memphis, TN), and her MFA from the California Institute of the Arts (Valencia, CA). Nye’s work has recently been the subject of solo and group exhibitions at The Pit (Glendale, CA), Odd Ark (Los Angeles, CA); Big Pictures LA (Los Angeles) Blake and Vargas, (Berlin, Germany); The Dot Project, (London, UK); Day and Night Gallery (Atlanta, GA); La Loma Projects, (Pasadena, CA); and Unpaved Gallery (Yucca Valley, CA). Nye is a founding member of the all-female collective, The Binder of Women. Her work has been reviewed in such publications as Artillery, Los Angeles Times, Artforum, FAD Magazine and LA Weekly. Nye lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.

In accordance with Los Angeles County Covid-19 protocol, Philip Martin Gallery is currently open by appointment only. To make an appointment, or to get additional images, or information please email, or call 213-422-9286. Philip Martin Gallery is located at 2712 S. La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90034 in the Culver City area of Los Angeles between Venice Blvd. and Washington Blvd., just south of the 10 Freeway.