Lisa Williamson, Body Boards

October 29th - December 3rd

In recurring fantasies of being flattened and steamrolled, I come to know the hardness of my ideal density. I come to embody an ultimate thinness that sometimes verges on disappearance like a knife’s edge or rolls out surface area broadly like a screen or sheet of paper or open face, depending on point of view. Bodily volume collapses into geometric and planar schema, rigid with structural strength. Such fantasies of immense pressure (physical, mental) and extreme proximity also express a formal desire for scrutiny and meticulous care, refinement and precision staked out as aesthetic, ethical, and expressive claims. Vibing with these body boards involves processing compression, condensation, and concentration. Their bright, even electric power is graphic and economical, based on each differentiated form’s terse discipline. Potency is boiled down and distilled, like, say, a Tincture. Pared down and essentialized, the boards are heightened and nearly monumentalized by their reduced activity. Skins are painted and repainted, layer upon layer, to reach full saturation and velvety matte perfection—a hallmark of this distinctive colorist and something of a finish fetishist.

Personality survives the aluminum’s steamrolled planarity and gets infused throughout these highly associative, stripped down abstractions. Portrait and landscape merge over their punctuated flatlands. Body boards are storyboards are gameboards are classroom blackboards are hover boards are bus-stop billboards are spaced-out bored boards are mega sounding boards—like Stereo (LES3), whose encapsulation of coupledom (two black peas in a pod) faces us as both satellite receiver and booming amplifier. Williamson has mastered such fine-tuned imbuement of effusive character into color, shape, and dimension over her past decade’s many bodies of work. The pathos and humor of attitude, posture, and mood will not be denied—animated presence is contained and suffused through materiality and sculpture’s varied angles and arcs of relief. Each body board is based on a uniform 80 x 40 inch panel measurement, connecting the group of five individuals with proportions in common and relating them as creatures of the same formal species or members of a crowd, a public gathering. Their body size is basically human, but stretched up and wider, inflated a bit to the point of being slightly confrontational and subtly surreal, as though insisting, I can be your mirror, I can reflect that other side of you. Or your doorway, I can be your doorway—offering a nearly architectural object, a folded or extruded façade to escape through.

- Sarah Lehrer-Graiwer


L.A. Times