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Mary Lum: when the sky is a shape

Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York

Sat 8 Jan 2022 to Sat 26 Feb 2022

Artist: Mary Lum

Yancey Richardson presents when the sky is a shape, an exhibition of new paintings and painted photo collages by Chinese American artist Mary Lum. The works in the exhibition draw on cultural detritus and the urban environment as a foundation from which to explore geometric abstraction, perspectival space, and language.


Artworks

11th Avenue

Mary Lum

11th Avenue, 2021

Gouache, watercolor, acrylic, colored pencil, and photo collage on paper

377.8 × 285.8 × 0.0 mm

11 1/4 x 14 7/8 inches

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Brief

Mary Lum

Brief, 2021

Latex, acrylic, and photo collage on paper

279.4 × 381.0 × 0.0 mm

15 x 11 inches

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Curtain

Mary Lum

Curtain, 2021

Gouache and photo collage on paper

355.6 × 279.4 × 0.0 mm

11 x 14 inches

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Endless Fall 1

Mary Lum

Endless Fall 1, 2021

Acrylic on paper

1397.0 × 2108.2 × 0.0 mm

83 x 55 inches

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Endless Fall 2

Mary Lum

Endless Fall 2, 2021

Acrylic on paper

558.8 × 762.0 × 0.0 mm

30 x 22 inches

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Endless Fall 3

Mary Lum

Endless Fall 3, 2021

Acrylic on paper

558.8 × 762.0 × 0.0 mm

30 x 22 inches

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Endless Fall 4

Mary Lum

Endless Fall 4, 2021

Acrylic and photo collage on paper

304.8 × 406.4 × 0.0 mm

16 x 12 inches

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Informations Pratiques

Mary Lum

Informations Pratiques, 2021

Acrylic and photo collage on paper

1136.7 × 1720.9 × 0.0 mm

67 3/4 x 44 3/4 inches

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Large Rat

Mary Lum

Large Rat, 2021

Acrylic and photo collage on paper

762.0 × 558.8 × 0.0 mm

30 x 22 inches

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Menu

Mary Lum

Menu, 2021

Acrylic, watercolor, and photo collage on paper

279.4 × 355.6 × 0.0 mm

14 x 11 inches

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Of-From

Mary Lum

Of-From, 2021

Acrylic on paper

558.8 × 762.0 × 0.0 mm

30 x 22 inches

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On Air

Mary Lum

On Air, 2021

Acrylic on paper

1136.7 × 1793.9 × 0.0 mm

70 5/8 x 44 3/4 inches

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Pont Marie

Mary Lum

Pont Marie, 2021

Photo and found paper collage, acrylic on paper

276.2 × 352.4 × 0.0 mm

13 7/8 x 10 7/8 inches

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Poster

Mary Lum

Poster, 2021

Acrylic, found paper, and photo collage on paper

558.8 × 762.0 × 0.0 mm

30 x 22 inches

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Pressure

Mary Lum

Pressure, 2021

Acrylic on paper

558.8 × 762.0 × 0.0 mm

30 x 22 inches

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Queens

Mary Lum

Queens, 2021

Acrylic, found paper, color pencil, and photo collage on paper

352.4 × 276.2 × 0.0 mm

10 7/8 x 13 7/8 inches

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Reflection

Mary Lum

Reflection, 2021

Acrylic and photo collage on paper

355.6 × 276.2 × 0.0 mm

14 x 10 7/8 inches

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Rue Charlot

Mary Lum

Rue Charlot, 2021

Acrylic, found paper, and photo collage on paper

558.8 × 762.0 × 0.0 mm

30 x 22 inches

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SeeSaw

Mary Lum

SeeSaw, 2021

Acrylic on paper

1333.5 × 1774.8 × 0.0 mm

69 7/8 x 52 1/2 inches

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Sign

Mary Lum

Sign, 2021

Acrylic on paper

558.8 × 762.0 × 0.0 mm

30 x 22 inches

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Southwark

Mary Lum

Southwark, 2021

Acrylic, watercolor, gouache, found paper, and photo collage on paper

279.4 × 355.6 × 0.0 mm

14 x 11 inches

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Special

Mary Lum

Special, 2021

Acrylic on paper

558.8 × 762.0 × 0.0 mm

30 x 22 inches

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Surface

Mary Lum

Surface, 2021

Acrylic, watercolor, gouache, photo collage

355.6 × 276.2 × 0.0 mm

10 7/8 x 14 inches

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System

Mary Lum

System, 2021

Acrylic, watercolor, color pencil, found paper, and photo collage on paper

279.4 × 355.6 × 0.0 mm

14 x 11 inches

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Thing

Mary Lum

Thing, 2021

Acrylic on paper

558.8 × 762.0 × 0.0 mm

30 x 22 inches

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Voyage

Mary Lum

Voyage, 2021

Acrylic and photo collage on paper

406.4 × 304.8 × 0.0 mm

12 x 16 inches

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Installation Views

Lum’s large scale paintings derive from collage studies made of printed material, ephemera and photographs taken during long, unstructured walks through the streets of London, Paris, and New York. Inspired by Guy Debord’s concept of psychogeography and an experimental method of communication called hypergraphy, the paintings combine stuttering lines of abstracted letter forms with architectural details and flat fields of color. Jazzy and nonsensical, they communicate the energy and cacophony of the city. In a series of small, jewel-like painted photocollages, images of signage and storefronts are fragmented and stripped of their loci within layered, kaleidoscopic arrangements of color and line.

Using acrylic paint, photographs, paper, glue, colored pencil, watercolor, gouache, and house paint, Lum’s shapes and surfaces each contain a history. Underneath are other paintings and collages, sometimes peeking through, often completely hidden. According to the artist, “Each image is a paracosm, an imaginary world constructed over time, containing aspects drawn from the real world but in many cases seen out of order. These are imperfectly imagined worlds where things may be awkward, crooked, in the wrong place, too smooth, too rough, overly layered, or left bare.” Made during the pandemic, the works in the exhibition express the unsettled nature of the times and the artist’s longing to be in the cities she normally frequents.

Mary Lum was born in St. Cloud, Minnesota. She received her BFA from the University of Michigan and her MFA from the Rochester Institute of Technology. Her work has been featured in Invisible Cities at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA, and Tell It To My Heart at the Kunstmuseum fur Geganwartskunst in Basel, Switzerland. She has been the recipient of numerous awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship (2010), the Radcliffe Fellowship for Advanced Study (2004-2005), and a MacDowell Colony Fellowship (2018, 2012). She is a professor of painting and drawing at Bennington College, in Bennington, VT.

Courtesy of the artist and Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York

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