A Look Inside Lain York: Bedrock at Belmont's Leu Gallery



Flagstone, Lain York
  • "Flagstone," Lain York
In tomorrow's dead-tree edition, Joe Nolan sings the praises of Nashville art scene stalwart and Zeitgeist curator Lain York. I don't think I'll be spoiling anything by printing the Critic's Pick here a day early — York's talent for breaking down imagery into simple but dynamic components is fairly well established. He's an artist's artist, and while I've always found it hard to write about his work without veering into tangential ruminations on art theory and modernism, that's exactly what I love most about it — in front of one of York's paintings, it's difficult to avoid ideas about deconstructivism, minimalism, expressionism, and the ways they all link together.

If you're interested in the process of making art — of taking a line and turning it into something else — you'll want to see York's show before it closes on Jan. 26. He's given us some images of the show's installation, and I've posted those, as well as Joe's Pick on the show, after the jump.

Lain York’s new exhibition at Belmont University’s Leu Art Gallery is an elegant display of abstract paintings on panels. The work finds the artist traveling further along an ongoing trajectory of deconstructing his own process just as surely as his explorations break tribal masks, archaeological sites and ancient architecture down into their constituent parts. The show’s central piece features a dancing sequence of large, unfinished panels. The cockeyed, off-kilter installation creates an ebullient mood, but the lyrical white arabesques that swirl across the surfaces balance nervously between reassuring elegance and anxiety-inducing chaos. Many of York’s lines are made with Wite-Out correction tape, which creates an even deeper dialogue about covered-over mysteries and excavated discoveries. Additional markings that appear to be made with a plain pencil can only be discovered through up-close inspection, and implicate the viewer in York’s inspired investigations.

  • Lain York

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