Laura Fayer Artist Biography

"My paintings take landscape and nature as their subject and as a point of departure. I embrace the imperfections and the accidental relationships that evolve among multiple layers of paint and graphic marks.  I start with pools of color that blend and disperse into the canvas.  These large areas are then layered with collaged printed marks from a vocabulary of hand-made printmaking tools I developed from my impressions of ordinary objects and experiences, such as a pattern formed on a sidewalk from an afternoon shadow, swaying branches or rippling on the  surface of a lake." --Laura Fayer

One must be cautious with the term “organic” these days. The word, once synonymous with nature and biology, has somehow found its way onto everything from bikinis to bleach, leading to skepticism of that which would otherwise boast the now-marketable label. The abstract paintings of Laura Fayer, however, vindicate the much-maligned phrase, seeming every bit as much a part of the earth as they are the artist’s studio. In her second solo show at Thomas Robertello Gallery, the New York City artist presents “Pull of the Moon,” a series of delicate, layered works using acrylics and rice paper to create dreamlike visions of movement, nature, and light. These stratas, formed from Fayer’s own handcrafted stamps and stencils, seem cut from the earth itself. Works like “Fresh Air” showcase brisk, vibrant sweeps of paint, the traces of Fayer’s tools still visible in the white, blue, and crimson contrails. The environmental architecture of another work, titled “Solstice,” draws viewers in with a complex array of dark, inky wisps on the lower end of the rice paper canvas before tapering as it rises up like sable flames blown upward by an unseen wind. Though they may appear simple, Fayer’s works demand attention, their starkness and delicacy evoking awe and respect—not unlike the humbling power of nature in its rawest state.

--Jaime Calder, New City Art (Chicago, 2009)

A key component in Fayer's pieces are the custom-made painting tools she fashions, ncluding stencils and rubber stamps, that allow her to repeat certain elements in her compositions. These devices are essential to her method and are often employed to paint the lines or bars used extensively in most of the paintings. Some also have lines drawn in colored pencil. The lines, whether stenciled, stamped or drawn, especially the ones that are done in horizontal stacks, provide the paintings with clearly delineated structures that define her pictorial spaces. These lines are often arranged in parallel blocks, whether they're straight or meandering.

There is a Japanesque quality to many of Fayer's paintings -- for example, the wonderful, "Excavation," in acrylic and rice paper on canvas. The way the colors are broken in fragments and the composition itself are reminiscent of a Japanese block print. "Excavation" is one of the older paintings in the show; the more recent ones are simple and less Japanesque. Fayer notes in her artist statement that she is interested in the Japanese idea of wabi-sabi, which roughly translates as je ne se quoi. Fayer's interest in Japan and its aesthetics is not incidental: She lived there as a child.

Fayer's colors are marvelous, with lots of cream as well as strong tones that remind me of the lovely shades seen in a midsummer garden -- or maybe in dresses at a garden party. These spring shades reinforce the undeniably feminine mood of the paintings and the atmosphere of the gallery. Owner Robin Rule said that after such a tough winter, with all the snow, she thought everyone was ready for something sunny and bright -- like these Fayer paintings.   

--Michael Paglia | Westword | April 26, 2007

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