款識：Lucy Bull 2020（畫背）
60 x 30 英吋 (152.4 x 76.2 公分)
$400,000 - 600,000
“I want to titillate the senses. I want to draw people closer. I think people aren’t used to paying much prolonged attention to paintings on walls, and I want to allow people to have more of a sensory experience. I want to draw them in so that there is the opportunity for things to open up and for them to wander.”
Diaphanous webs of vibrant color overtake the surface of Lucy Bull’s Dark Companion,
2020. Bull’s marks glitter and shift in thin gauzes of gold, coral, green, and blue, stretching and waving, threadlike, in layers of bioluminescent oils. The visual effect is somewhere between that of a Y2K desktop screensaver and the undulating fins of a deep sea creature—a tension between digital and natural, synthetic and organic associations that pervades Bull’s abstract oeuvre. The meditative canvas, open to prolonged contemplation and multivalent interpretation, gives life to the wanderings of a musing mind.
The viewer is hypnotized as they wander throughout the work, stepping into a universe in which neither time nor space are tangible, much less linear. Bull intuitively builds juxtapositions of light and dark color, in flashes of contrast which draw the eye along the featherlight golden strokes of her paintbrush. A base layer of navy blue, nearly black, lightens into bursts of bright teal; areas of slate grey dapple into golden yellow and fluorescent orange. Lemon yellow and hot pink spark across the canvas, while touches of white and lime green patter into small crescents, like the surfing edges of waves, or scales of a glistening dark creature. Bull’s painted “companion” is all-enveloping, and the viewer is happy to be lost in its depths.
Max Ernst, Profanation of the Spring
, 1945. Private Collection. Artwork: © 2023 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris
The emotional force of Dark Companion
depends upon the viewer’s willingness to embrace a meditative state of extended contemplation, an effect which Bull refers to as a sort of “timed release.” In this way, Bull is inspired by her love of film, a medium that inherently depends on time for its artistic impact; just as the action of a film plays out over time, so do the visual effects of Dark Companion.
“Time is everything,” Bull says. “I’ve always been jealous of filmmakers, who expect no one will leave the theater. When I’m painting, I’m always thinking about creating the same kind of psychic space that a movie does.”i
The cosmos Bull creates calls on the legacies of Surrealist artists, such as Max Ernst, who let the processes of the unconscious mind guide their artistic practice. Surrealist painters let the paint, brush, and gesture lead the way, with as little conscious intervention as possible. Bull cites Ernst’s experience of “being a spectator to the making of his own work” as akin to her own process. “When things finally open up and click,” she says, “it feels like magic.”ii
is a mesmerizing journey through the depths of emotion and imagination, a testament to the power of art to transport us beyond the limits of language and into the uncharted territories of the mind. Bull “makes room for both precision and abandon, inviting viewers to participate in ever-unfinished processes of creation that she choreographs but never fully controls.”iii
Bull’s work is currently on display at The Warehouse, Dallas, in Lucy Bull: Nacar,
through November 25.
Most recently, she had a solo exhibition at the Long Museum Shanghai, with Venus World
Jun.-Aug. 2023. Her work was also featured in the NGV Triennial
at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne this year.
Bull’s paintings reside in numerous institutional collections, including MAMCO Geneva, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and The Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami, among others.
Lucy Bull, quoted in Kat Herriman, “Artist Lucy Bull Invites Others Into Her Cosmos,” Cultured Magazine,
Bull, quoted in John Garcia, “Getting Lost in the Brushstrokes: Lucy Bull Interviewed by John Garcia,” BOMB Magazine
, Apr. 26, 2021, online
David Kordansky Gallery, “Artist Lucy Bull: Bio,” online
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