Lauralee Pope

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What Is My Work About? 

Experimentation and discovery guide my painting process. Relying on improvisation and game-like strategy to accentuate the agile and resilient nature of abstract painting, I look to begin anew each time with the idea that anything is possible. The architecture of an exhibition space is often brought into conversation with the paintings through the arrangement and display of the work. I am interested in creating an environment where the paintings perform the activity of highlighting the surrounding space to enlarge the capacity of what painting is, and may include.

Artist Statement

I am in hot pursuit of the possibilities in abstract painting. Everything in a painting has the potential to be adapted and manipulated. This requires a willingness to constantly reinvent things from the ground up, with the idea that anything is possible. This is the nexus of my practice.

Attuned to the structural components that make up a painting, I always find some bit of information here that becomes the catalyst for the entire painting. Experimentation, and discovery guide my decision-making process, and I work quickly, improvising as I go. Creating challenges for myself, testing my bravery, and exploring impromptu methods; these games of my own devising are the framework for the paintings. Working on a small scale, I am able to navigate the surface quickly, testing ideas and seeing the results immediately.

I am always trying to amuse myself, and often this results in impish play with the canons of modernism. Incorporation of materials other than paint is another source of amusement. Pleather, felt, popcorn, and ceramics are a few examples of this. Working with clay is a natural extension of my painting practice because the inherent pliability of the material parallels my approach to painting.

To underscore the elusive nature of the paintings, I select titles that have a playful approach to language. Puns, palindromes, and auto-antonyms rearrange meaning, and point to the slippery nature of the paintings.

Display of the work is equally important to my process. I get excited about architectural spaces whose elements I can bring into conversation with the paintings. Oftentimes, elements of the paintings are informed by the space in advance, otherwise, through the display of the work, an exchange with the exhibition space is created. This type of all-inclusive looking is important because it helps to expand the capacity of what painting is, and may include. I consider each of my paintings to be discrete works. However, I often assemble them in variable groupings to promote a circular way of looking. Paintings can reappear in subsequent displays with alternative companions, and this type of reincorporation is part of the cyclic process.



b. 1980 Tulsa, Oklahoma

Lives and works in Los Angeles, California



2013 M.F.A. California Institute of the Arts

2002 B.F.A. with Honors, Otis College of Art and Design

2001 Yale University, Norfolk Summer Residency



2013 “Forever Painting” Main Gallery, CalArts, Valencia, CA

2012 “Suburban Lights” L-Shape Gallery, CalArts, Valencia, CA

2012 “The Rumpus Room” Annex #12, CalArts, Valencia, CA




“How Some Paintings Are Born” Curated by John Souza, Baik Art, Culver City, CA

“The Machine Project Field Guide to the Gamble House” Organized by Machine Project, The Gamble House, Pasadena, CA

“Filodendron Michael Dopp and Lauralee Pope” Organized by Andrew Cannon and Ross Caliendo, Secret Recipe, Los Angeles, CA

“Incognito” Santa Monica Museum of Art, Santa Monica, CA

“Dallas Biennial 2014, Anna Paola Guerra, Lucy Kirkman, Lauralee Pope” Organized and Curated by Michael Mazurek and Jesse Morgan Barnett, DB14A/DB14B Office Space, Dallas TX

“Amazon Solitaire” Curated by Akina Cox, Center for the Arts Eagle Rock, Los Angeles

“Caught Looking: Simone Gad, Tracy Nakayama, Ruby Neri, Lauralee Pope, Mary Weatherford ” Curated by Irene Tsatsos, Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, CA

“Superpositions” Organized by Jason Ramos, RAID Projects, Los Angeles



“The Poet, Blinded by the Sun” Organized by Vincent Ramos, In Conjunction with “Plum Pudding Peanut Island (Gilligan’s Squaw Fire Island II)”, Elephant Art Space, Los Angeles

“Keep In Touch” UCLA New Wight Invitational, Curated by Anthony Miserendo, Erin Morrison, and Frank J. Stockton, New Wight Gallery, Los Angeles

“Ex.11” Curated by Michael Mazurek, Brazos Gallery, Richland College, Dallas, TX

“Show and Tell” Curated by Irene Tsatsos, Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, CA

“Interior Forest Fundraiser” Organized by Alexandra Grant, For Your Art, Los Angeles

“Subject Matters” CalArts MFA 2013 Graduate Exhibition, Curated by Claire De Dobay Rifelj, Mandarin Plaza, Los Angeles



“100×100” For Your Art, Los Angeles

“This Is All We Have In Common” Lime Gallery, Valencia, CA



“Chain Letter” Curated by Christian Cummings and Doug Harvey, Shoshana Wayne Gallery, Los Angeles

“Chain Letter Global” Organized by Emily Mast and David Horvitz, Berlin



“South Bay Focus” Torrance Art Museum, Torrance, CA

“Monster Drawing Rally” Outpost for Contemporary Art/Center for the Arts, Eagle Rock

“Swap Thing” WPA (in conjunction with Perform! Now!), Los Angeles



“The Sharon Show” Curated by Vincent Ramos, The Friends of Distinction (Dan Graham), Los Angeles

“Auctionette” Schermer Meeting Hall, Aspen

“Call Me Lightning: An Evening of Performance Based Works” Organized by Vincent Ramos, Fellows Of Contemporary Art (FOCA), Los Angeles

“Heavy Weight: A Group Exhibition at the Gym” Organized by Sara Hunsucker, The Body Firm, Los Angeles



“Inaugural Group Show” 4-F Gallery, Los Angeles

“Sometimes It’s Dark” The Practice Space, Los Angeles

“Parking Space” Bergamot Station, Los Angeles



“Summer Exhibition” Art Barn Gallery, Norfolk CT

“Base” Otis Galef Center, Los Angeles

“No Big Deal” Bolsky Gallery, Los Angeles




2011-2013 Merit Scholarships, CalArts

2001 Ellen Battell Stoeckel Fellowship

1998 Merit Scholarship, Otis College of Art and Design



2013 Armory Center for the Arts – Show and Tell Workshop

2013 Teaching Assistant- Mari Eastman

2012 Teaching Assistant- John Mandel