Danielle Lawrence - Sky Cathedral, Sally Ride, Metis and Deja vu
Danielle Lawrence: Sky Cathedral, Sally Ride, Metis and Déjà vu, 2019
Acrylic on canvas, stitched to constructed canvas, 86 x 96"

Danielle Lawrence

Veils and Grids

March 14 - May 31, 2020

View images from the exhibition

Watch Danielle Lawrence in conversation with Dr. Stephanie Hanor, Director Mills College Art Museum


Traywick Contemporary is pleased to announce Veils and Grids, an exhibition featuring new works by Bay Area artist Danielle Lawrence in her first solo show with the gallery.

Lawrence’s practice focuses on experimentation with materiality and surface through a hybrid approach that incorporates painting and sculpture. With her work, she questions the accepted truths of traditional materials and categories while seeking to expand the hierarchies around craft vs fine art; high vs low; abstraction vs representation. She thinks of her pieces as visual haikus - distilled, powerful moments that merge abstract language and gestures with contemporary cultural realities of fluidity and transformation. The exhibition title, “Veils and Grids,” references the contradictions that exist in Lawrence’s own shape shifting style through which meaning and ideas are both revealed and concealed.

Referencing the history of Abstraction in contemporary art, Lawrence has always been interested in the painted shape, gesture or mark that moves beyond the two dimensional plane. In this show, she reworks the traditional physicality of a painting by literally deconstructing and putting back together each piece. She cuts and tears raw canvas and reconstructs it into patch-work surfaces. These asymmetric, grid-like picture planes serve as the backdrop to other hand made elements: dyed and stained textile panels, sewn and stitched lines, as well as glazed ceramic objects that rest on edges or are applied to surfaces.

Lawrence’s physical deconstruction/construction of materials is a metaphor for reworking and rethinking of other cultural norms such as sexuality, gender, and class. The dyed panels can be seen as windows that offer different points of view, banners signifying the desire for change, or flags marking important historical sites where transformative moments have occurred. The titles of each piece give clues to culturally significant people, places and ideas that have influenced her practice. One such title, Sky Cathedral, Sally Ride, Metis and Déjà vu, refers to (in order): Louise Nevelson’s important work of the same title; the first and youngest American woman to have traveled in space; Zeus’ first wife, a god who was simultaneously a threat and an aid to him; a Crosby Stills and Nash album title. In her work, Lawrence points to the power of the art, music and literature of our time, as the connector between communities and generations that can force dialogue and open an exchange of ideas.

Danielle Lawrence received an MFA from Mills College in 2011 and a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2003. She currently lives and works in San Francisco, CA.

View images from the exhibition

Watch Danielle Lawrence in conversation with Dr. Stephanie Hanor, Director Mills College Art Museum