NEW YORK, NY.- Lucien Terras
presents Periods, a solo exhibition of new work by Emily Mullin running from December 8 until January 29, 2017.
Periods stages handmade vessels bearing live flowers on painted steel shelves that reference the photographic cyclorama. This combination of functional and organic objects floats on the wall as a three-dimensional still life. In a gallery context this unique hybrid form opens an array of questions about presentation. While the pieces refer to the tradition of still-life painting, they exist somewhere between the flat space of representation and reality.
Each still life is distinct; the forms and compositions celebrate a range of historical influences alluding to the visual language of worship and desire: from Cycladic idols and ancient Egyptian ceramics used to store cosmetics and perfume, to gilded Spanish altars from the 1400s, to the dancers in modern musicals and at the West Indian Day parade in Brooklyn. As such, the displays portray variations in a durable essence: an imperturbable feminine dignity expresses itself through each character.
Through a process of hand building and carving clay, Mullin makes each vessel with intentional irregularities, emphasizing its uniqueness and assertive presence. A patterned layer of wax resist is applied to the surface of each piece before it is dipped in white glaze. After the piece is fired, the wax resist burns away, revealing the color of the raw clay body beneath. The six clays used in the show range from a deep brown to white, creating an earthy spectrum of color. The vegetation further accentuates the fecund aspects of the vases; with them, Mullin extends a universal gesture the offering of a flower as a conduit for the meaning of a moment: celebration, grief, hope, regeneration.
Emily Mullin lives and works in Brooklyn and studied painting and sculpture at Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, MA and at Goldsmiths, University of London, London UK. She recently held a solo presentation at Sunday Takeout in Brooklyn and has been included in group exhibitions at Kate Werble Gallery and Casey Kaplan Gallery in New York.