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Lucy Skaer, Residency September to ddecember 2013

Photos : Guillaume Blanc

Lucy Skaer was born in Cambridge in 1975, and lives and works in Glasgow.

or some years now, Lucy Skaer has been pursuing a cross-disciplinary research project that combines drawing and large-format printing with sculpture and video. In her multi-faceted installations, each individual work examines a different aspect of a working method in which objects and images, at once recognizable and abstract, are transformed by all manner of manipulations, repetitions and shifts in scale.

The artist also incorporates his personal vocabulary of elementary geometric figures. Beyond their apparent diversity, all his works explore the mechanisms by which we give meaning to the things we think we know: press photos reproducing famous masterpieces, enlarged and redrawn; extracts from old films reworked to the point of abstraction; scattered pieces recomposed; accessories from our everyday environment reduced to the imprint of their shape. All these interventions by the artist provoke a loss of reference points and a distortion of meaning, even as they give rise to objects that are both beautiful and accurate in their new meanings.

During her residency, Lucy Skaer took advantage of the space offered by the studio to develop new research and experimentation with a wide range of materials (wood, terracotta, marble...).

Taking up the theme of the series, Lucy Skaer wanted to reproduce a simple form using these materials. Each new sculpture will be a copy of the previous one, but not of the original object, in this case a plank of wood cut directly from a tree trunk, so that a certain formal resemblance is present between each element, both in form and in the material used. The nature of the forms in this series of sculptures can be defined as a new incarnation, a metaphor for an existing form.

His approach is also accompanied by work on language: the title of each object will be a synonym of the title of the previous object (e.g.: corner, trap, catch or extend, lengthen, enumerate etc. ). The operation of this series of sculptures is related to the concept of propagation or rumor in language.

The artist has chosen materials that are not part of a specific period or tradition, but on the contrary embrace a broad period, and their juxtaposition will render them anachronistic in relation to the materials of neighboring objects.

No sculpture will be a portrait of the previous one, but rather a representation, or an analogy whose transformation will be highlighted, this process leading towards abstraction will inevitably create an impression of pretense, a tension within this series. Lucy Skaer's aim with this project is to question the meaning of the representation of things, the relationship that inevitably arises between form, matter and language.

A graduate of the Glasgow School of Art, she has recently gained recognition on the international art scene. In 2007, she was one of six artists chosen to represent Scotland at the Venice Biennale, and in 2009 she was a finalist for the Turner Prize. Following solo exhibitions at Edinburgh's Fruitmarket Gallery and London's Chsenhale Gallery in 2008, Kunsthalle Basel devoted a solo show to her in 2009. Her work will be presented at the Sculpture Center in New York in 2012. She has also taken part in group shows: Elles, MNAM Centre Pompidou (2010), Prendre la porte et faire le mur, FRAC PACA, Marseille (2010), New Work: UK: You and Me, at the Whitechapel Gallery, London (2007), If I can't Dance, I don't want to be part of Your Revolution': Edition II: Feminist Legacies and Potentials in Contemporary Art Practice, De Appel, Amsterdam (2006) participation in Art Basel in 2006.


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