happylucky no 1 is pleased to present Mary Louise Geering: Denim and Diamonds, opening October 19 with a reception at 7 pm.
A multi-faceted artist, Geering has spent more than 30 years as as a sculptor, a practice that informs her prints and paintings, as well as more than 30 years as a textile designer in New York City’s garment district, a day job in which she used antiquated methods as well as contemporary computer software. The paintings and drawings on view in Denim and Diamonds are informed by these varied artistic practices.
Geering’s large-scale paintings of objects such as a diamond-encrusted belt buckle play with scale and dimension. After photographing the belt-buckle, for instance, she enlarges the image on the computer and then hand-paints it, adding color and capturing the impression of light reflecting off of the geometric, multi-planed surfaces.
Her gouache-on-paper paintings of patterns may be the most directly related to her textile design, but while they were rendered on the computer, they are all meticulously hand-painted. Her “denim drawings,” on the other hand, are tied to her sculptural practice in surprising ways: the forms in the drawings are derived from the shadows cast by her sculptures, which she then paints with gouache, creating fine lines that replicate the look of twill denim.
Geering, who attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, the Massachusetts College of Art, as well as the Fashion Institute of Technology, and who received a Gottlieb Foundation Grant in 2015, then adds whimsical elements, like an eight-ball or a string of flowers, or letters spelling CRYBABY. Her gouache paintings of knitted butterflies similarly play with the layers of artistic interpretation of a natural form: a butterfly knitted out of yarn, intended as a decorative doo-dad, photographed and enlarged and then carefully hand-painted by Geering to capture the tactility of the loops and knots in the yarn. Her drawings and paintings reflect the biomorphic shapes of her sculptures as well as the commercial influences of decades in design work, combining precision with a practice rooted in natural forms.