The gestural, structural paintings of Los Angeles-based artist Mandy Lyn Ford follow their own rules. Sculptural in their dimensionality, they don’t rest gently (nor are they gentle) against the wall, and it’s important to show how deep these pieces are.
My favorite thing about painting is the paint itself, the way it can be layered, mixed, and stripped away. Ford’s paintings give the illusion from a straight-on perspective that they consist of layer after layer of material, pulling the ultimate surface quite far away from the wall. But taking a look at the side reveals that the materials and paint wrap around wood panels, in some cases exposed, which appeals to the desire to peer around the sides and back of complex, unframed canvases. In this case, it’s extra rewarding, especially in a piece such as Buddy Holly, which, with its large gash, bright reds, and a thick, peeling layer of paint, evoked an association with the musician’s famously tragic plane crash.
Many of the works have an architectural heft to them, particularly in the way that the gesso and thickness of the material appear like plaster, or as if a particularly interesting chunk of wall had been removed, elaborated on, and displayed in its own right. Individually strong, the arch motifs, speckling, peeling corners, thick swipes of paint, and alternating primary and neon palette tie all of the works together.
Ford graduated with a BA from the University of California – Los Angeles this year and has work included in numerous group shows throughout the fall as well as an upcoming solo exhibition at Life On Mars Gallery, Brooklyn.
More information and images can be found at mandylynford.com.