Nicole Mueller: Innerscapes
4619 West Washington Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90016
Saturday, June 8 at 5:00 PM 8:00 PM
Ends Jul 13, 2024
Lowell Ryan Projects is pleased to present a solo exhibition titled Innerscapes by San Francisco-based artist Nicole Mueller. This will be Mueller's first exhibition in Los Angeles and with the gallery. A series of six horizontal large-scale works are on view in the gallery's lower level, with one monumental canvas on the upper level that commands attention with its seemingly cosmic expanse. These paintings delve into what can be described as introspective self-portraiture, whereby tangible embodiments of the artist's subconscious unravel into dynamic forms, colors, and gestures. Through Innerscapes, Mueller depicts a chorus of emotions—joy, nostalgia, conflict, and awe meld seamlessly into an abstract choreography—inviting the viewer to explore their own inner landscape by means of Mueller's exuberant method. The paintings in the exhibition begin with a series of preliminary drawings; however, these drawings do not function so much compositionally as they are a gestural practice—fusing the visual mark with Mueller's muscular memory. This repetition of kaleidoscopic movements manifests on the works' surfaces in a cacophony of color. Zesty oranges, dusty lavenders, spearmint greens, vivid periwinkles, and flushed magentas sweep across the canvases in a whirlwind of now instinctive brushwork, creating the feeling of perpetual movement. While Abstract Expressionism's energetic style is present, Mueller's works bear the unmistakable imprint of her uninhibited imagination, creating and contrasting shifts in color palette and tonality. When discussing her paintings, Mueller references animation and how she first learned how to draw cartoons before having any formal artistic training. Growing up during the animation renaissance in the 1990s, movies by Don Bluth and Disney served as creative inspirations. While Mueller does not directly reference particular films in relation to her paintings, through her use of vibrant color, gesture, and form one can feel a palpable glimpse into the inner workings of the mind's processing of memory and emotion. Much like the escapist fantasies in constant motion that became formative influences in her early life, the paintings on display in Innerscapes evoke a response where feelings intertwine with recollections, creating a form of rich visual storytelling.
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