Praz-Delavallade is opening the exhibition 'Portals' by Thomas Linder and Liz Walsh today

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Praz-Delavallade is opening the exhibition 'Portals' by Thomas Linder and Liz Walsh today
Thomas Linder, Siren, 2023, (detail). Pigment, fiberglass, and aluminum frame.

LOS ANGELES, CA.- Praz-Delavallade Los Angeles is opening Portals, a duo exhibition with two Los Angeles based artists and their process-driven cosmologies. Thomas Linder’s cropped wall hangings of ephemeral and abstract swathes of color counterbalance Liz Walsh’s tableaux of plant and animal motifs. One artist creates spatial illusion through the use of color and materials, while the other skirts the edges of perception by connecting flora, fauna, and humanity through fantasy. They each consider the viewer in providing insight into their own environments and alternative universes.

At first glance, it might appear as though the two present a strict contrast of approaches to the notion of reality and perception—Linder’s macroscopic view of the earth and its human intervention to Walsh’s symbolic introspection and minute observance of nature—but nothing’s ever that simple. The aluminum frames that surround Linder’s works are less a structure that limits the space it contains, but an opening to the perceptual multitude that space invites. Walsh’s two-dimensional figures, set to intricate, expansive backdrops draw in and then out into the vastness of the universal Mind at Large.

Both bodies of work were developed organically over time. Linder obfuscates the line between sculpture and painting in this, the latest of an ongoing series of two-paneled wall hangings made up of fiberglass color fields, overlaid with poured resin casts off of a sheet of glass. Looking past its construction, its frame disappears, leaving the viewer to get lost in the region between refracted light and their reflection on the textured surface of these double-paned windows. Walsh adds and layers elements to her figurative compositions of gouache “body color” in increments, taking months, even a year to load each infinitesimal cosmos—a looking glass into the beholder’s own imagination, offset by bursts of epic light and spray painted detail.

Linder and Walsh draw on vastly different influences and inspirations, while responding directly to their shared Los Angeles environment in different ways. Linder brings his past in Midwestern farming and a present of evening walks along the LA River into these experiments in capturing light and changing color through his translucent pieces. Here, the abundance of Minnesota’s lakes and wetlands meets Los Angeles’s water politics, where the greenhouses and irrigation of Linder’s youth inform his perspective on the manmade disasters of Mulholland’s dam and the “phantom lake” of Tulare in California’s Central Valley.

Walsh brings the materiality and intricacy of previous work with clay and weaving into themes of emotionality, excess, and transformation through large-scale botanical landscapes laced with pop symbols. The subjective reality of underrecognized Surrealist artist Leonora Carrington also inspires her, in what Cecilia Alemani describes as “a magical world where life is constantly re-envisioned through the prism of the imagination.” Perhaps, that is where the throughlines of both Linder and Walsh’s practices intersect, in building the exhibition’s titular portals for their viewers to step through.

July 8th, 2023 - August 5th, 2023

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