Derek Eller Gallery is pleased to present a three person exhibition featuring new works by Clare Grill, Lauren Luloff and Kathia St. Hilaire. Finding inspiration from textile-based craft like needlepoint, tapestry, and silk dyeing, these artists share an interest in process and materiality. Natural forms and personal narratives are weaved throughout the work in subtle yet distinctive ways, and each artist crafts a unique story about how we see, perceive and interrogate our world.
Clare Grill’s (b. 1979) paintings originate in early American Sampler embroideries made by girls and young women to demonstrate their needlepoint skills. Her painting process revolves around an acute attention to surface detail. She responds to raking light from her window falling upon the tabletop where she paints, playing with the texture and weave of the linen. Grill picks at the surface with brushes and her fingers, adding and removing color, burying and dusting off the original imagery. Her layering technique reveals colors at first not seen, creating a muted palette and textured surface as organic shapes emerge. This palimpsestic method of painting creates a sense of surprise and movement similar to the way light activates the water’s surface.
Lauren Luloff’s (b. 1980) work possesses similar qualities. For this series, the artist has been pursuing her exploration of fabric as a medium and using exclusively silk as her canvas. A plein-air painter, Luloff’s landscapes and floral patterns are dyed, either by painterly application or by a submersion process, creating irregularities and soft borders that nudge her work into abstraction. Obsessed with natural elements, water and plant life in particular, Luloff brings a sense of fluidity into her work — in the way she transcends the traditional notion of painting, in her manipulation of material and texture, and in her embrace of the liquid quality of silk hanging from curved and unconventional structures.
Kathia St. Hilaire (b. 1995) interlaces elaborate processes and personal narratives into her practice. Drawing from Haitian Vodun culture and her upbringing in a South Floridian Caribbean community, St. Hilaire’s interdisciplinary work is densely layered and evocative of traditional tapestry fabrics. Using relief printing techniques and oil based and metallic ink on sugar packaging and box braid packs, she elevates these discarded objects into meaningful materials, reflecting on the notion of beauty products as luxury commodities. Her luminous compositions provide a glimpse of the lush landscapes and stories that populate her world, from the sugar fields of Haiti to the seashores of the Gulf Coast.
Originally from Chicago, Clare Grill lives and works in Queens, NY. She received her MFA from the Pratt Institute in 2005, and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2011. Solo exhibitions include Zieher Smith & Horton Gallery (New York), Reserve Ames (Los Angeles, CA), Soloway Gallery (Brooklyn, NY), and Real Art Ways (Hartford, CT). Her work has been exhibited in group shows in Chicago, Seattle, St. Louis, New York, Hawaii, San Francisco, Guadalajara, London, Bologna and Denmark. Grill was a 2017 recipient of a Steep Rock Arts residency in Roxbury, CT and was the Fall 2017 Artist-in-Residence at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.
Lauren Luloff lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. She received her MFA from The Milton Avery College of Art, Bard College and her BFA from Pennsylvania State University. Recent solo exhibitions include Ceysson and Benetiere, Paris; Halsey McKay Gallery, East Hampton, NY; Galerie Bernard Ceysson, Luxembourg and Geneva, Switzerland; Marlborough Chelsea, New York; The Hole, New York; and Annarumma Gallery, Naples, Italy. She has been awarded residencies by The Bau Institute, in Cassis, France, The Macedonia Institute, in Chatham, NY and DNA Residency in Provincetown, MA.
Born in 1995 in Palm Beach, FL, Kathia St. Hilaire currently lives and works in New Haven, CT and is pursuing her MFA in Painting/ Printmaking at the Yale School of Art. She has received her BFA in Printmaking at the Rhode Island School of Design. She is the 2019 recipient of the Jorge M. Perez Award.