Air de Paris

Monica Majoli

21 Mar - 10 May 2014

© Monica Majoli
Untitled (Pam 1)
Huile sur bois, 31,75 x 45,08 cm, 2014
21 March - 10 May 2014

Pam is an exhibition comprised of four paintings of the same woman over the span of twenty years. Three recent portraits on view recall the Black Mirror series, which Majoli developed from 2008-2014. The series was based on photographs of former lovers as reflected in the black mirrors which line the bedroom of her Los Angeles home. Here, however, the visual interference is less pronounced, so much so that the artist sees these works as a distinct body of images. For her, in this group of paintings, the return to employing oil paint as a medium is also a return to a face she associates with the history of European painting. The three new portraits are juxtaposed with the artist’s first autobiographical painting, made in 1992 and included in her first exhibition at Air de Paris in 1995. This lapidary painting on pentagonal panel documents in a devotional mode the artist with Pam in her bedroom as it was then. Rife with symbolic imagery, Majoli explains that she was challenged by the intensity of the format and sought to paint an image that held the power of the shape itself. She identified Pam with a bird and in this domestic shape she cites a birdcage. In bringing these paintings together for her fourth solo exhibition at Air de Paris, she examines not only her subject, Pam, but herself in the form of the paintings themselves, a depiction of the artist’s divergent and related concerns over the course of two decades of painting. Most of all she is reasserting her work’s affinity with a personal, domestic history and an ambivalence - the exhaustion/permanence of desire – which her pictures succeed neither in resolving nor truly revivifying precisely because they share its fetishes.

Tags: Monica Majoli