During London Gallery Weekend 2023, Kate MacGarry will open Lisa Milroy’s first exhibition at the gallery. Correspondence brings together paintings from the 1980s to the present exploring the parameters of still life and the human relationship with objects.
The exhibition explores how painted depictions of objects can spark associations, leading the viewer to poetically charged connections and memories. For Milroy, this looping interplay between the painted materiality of an object and its associations embodies a tension that can be expressed through duality: ‘knowing / not knowing’, ‘having/lacking or losing’, ‘presence/absence’ – key critical perspectives that have come to define her practice. Milroy’s early works featured groups of everyday objects depicted against an off-white background. Subsequently, her imagery expanded to include objects within settings as well as landscape, architecture, people, pattern and textiles. As her approaches to still life have diversified, so has her manner of painting, evident in a range of innovative styles and syntaxes.
There is a playful underlying theme in the exhibition that refers to the game of ‘rock paper scissors’. By association ‘rock’ becomes pigment, ‘paper’ suggests canvas and ‘scissors’ the paintbrush, the impact of one on another igniting imaginative and material transformation, generating correspondence between things and evoking the actions of cutting, folding and placing.
…Lisa Milroy’s focus has not deviated from the ordinary things that surround her, the recognisable forms from a shared cultural field. Her object paintings of the last forty years can be said to epitomise a contemporary possibility for the historic genre of Still Life.Ann Gallagher, excerpt from Correspondence exhibition text, May 2023
Lisa Milroy, Correspondence, 2nd June – 15th July 2023, Kate MacGarry