My painting projects since 2003, depict fictive canvas on real canvas, a doubling of the object
we call a painting. The painted wrinkles are reflexive depictions of the actual wrinkles of the
canvas before it is stretched, alluding to “as is” in material and process. The painting ground
becomes a shallow undulating field of canvas, an arena without perspective where images
and abstractions, improvised primarily from an historical inventory of painting and popular
In some paintings, the painted figures "press" into the field, impacting its surface
and each other. In others, the forms project, or exist on the periphery, appearing to
exist in front of or behind the ground, shifting the hierarchy between field and figure,
illusion and flatness. Disrupting our expectations can create a suspension, a shift in attention,
which opens us to a more nuanced, poetic aspect of awareness, usually overlooked in the
exigencies of the everyday.
The canvas ground of the paintings function as a stand in for the mind. Working back
and forth between represented images and abstraction, parallels a mind with thoughts and
a mind without thoughts—an occupied room of images and an unoccupied room of
abstractions. Complications of coexistence, both cultural and personal, arise which I hope
extends beyond the discourse of painting to resonate with the pathos and humor of living.
"Step Aside" acrylic on canvas, 26x26, 2012
"Silver Screen Apparatus" acrylic on linen, 12x16, 2010
"Skid Apparatus" acrylic on linen, 26x26, 2010
"Ship Shape" acrylic on canvas, 12x12, 2010
"My Name Was" acrylic on canvas, 22x22, 2007
"Was Is" acrylic and oil on canvas, 64x64, 2002
"Red Cross" acrylic and oil on canvas, 64x64, 2003
Associate Professor, Head, Painting and Drawing, University of Iowa.
Laurel Farrin received a B.F.A. from Ohio University-Athens and an M.F.A. from the University of Maryland. She was an artist-in-residence at the Roswell Museum and Art Center, Roswell, NM; Yaddo, and the Millay Colony for the Arts, both in New York; and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Farrin received an individual artist grant from the Washington, D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities. Exhibitions include Lesley Heller Gallery; NY, NY; Hallwalls, Buffalo, NY; The Bronx River Art Center; The Albany International Airport; Carroll Square Gallery, Wash. DC; Roswell Museum and Art Center; the Des Moines (Iowa) Art Center; the Florida Center for Contemporary Art in Tampa; Spaces in Cleveland, Ohio; Anton Gallery; the Corcoran Gallery of Art and Washington Project for the Arts, in Washington, D.C.