Rachel LaBine

 

 

My work sits within the tension between flattened two-dimensional space and affective embodied experience, where spatial flips and pauses occur at the levels of both picture and the room in which we stand. I create paintings, performances, and immersive installations engaging natural and artificial lighting conditions as sites for playfully negotiating this tension. Images across the formal spectrum of my work trace the edge of being named, holding scale, legibility, and longing in a slippery grip.

 

I consider how attention is invited and slowed through paintings in oil on small dense panels, acrylic poured through frayed plastic, suspended like diaphanous architecture overlapping with sunlight colored by window vinyls. I arrange these works together, creating relationships of varying tenors between them and including the viewer, concerned with the body’s role in seeing and understanding. I see this feminist position as responding to a traditional line of thought in painting and photography that assumes a picture to originate from a supposedly neutral, disembodied vantage point. The way we calibrate shifts and distortions in scale with our bodies, as how in order to truly view an artwork you must stand in a room with it, and tensions summoned within and among paintings, textiles, and vinyls can shake loose the sense of inevitability tied to our tendencies to attach language to what we see and to separate our vision from our physical selves. Small compositions that feel large emphasize the difference between size, which is measured, and scale, which is sensed.

 

My work engages legibility as material the way that sound is material, attention as rhythmic device, the register being analog with a finer gradation than conjuring language or not. Taut stem, blithe spirit (2017) is a two-dimensional surface dense with multiple gravitational pulls. In Hairline tremor (2019) and Threaded still (2019) plastic threads pulled away from each other hold time. The support follows the same logic and language as the marks on the surface, weaving undone through repetition, creating and simultaneously unmaking an image. In much of my work the image pulls away as you draw near, an invitation to imagine being closer to something out of reach. This work takes pleasure in aligning small adjacencies and brief sightlines, tiny spaces slipped open between bits of frayed plastic and iridescent resin beads in which scale and distance become momentarily, impossibly pliable, that you or I could almost step into, a longing to be somewhere else answered briefly from standing in a certain place in a certain light.

 

Bending a space with light draws attention toward what is already there, toward how a still image can only exist within time which is moving, draws attention toward how a viewer’s body casts shadows in light, also always bound by time. In By turns diffuse and binding (2019), gels recalling stained glass cast candy-colored noon sunlight onto the floor. As the daylight wanes magenta fluorescent light slowly seeps in and over small dense paintings on panel, reflected from draped suspended vinyl in sharp moments of gloss. The magenta lights in back spill onto the sidewalk overnight, beaming toward the adjacent freeway like a pink ghost in each driver’s periphery. This piece began with a passing thought about how basilica windows and club lighting are both meant to stir you someplace beyond argument and language, how light on its way brings you with it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

EDUCATION

2019 MFA in Visual Art, Columbia University, School of the Arts, New York, NY

2010 BFA in Painting, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI

2006-2010 Courses at Brown University, Providence, RI

EXHIBITIONS

2019 Columbia Summer Show, curated by Edsell Williams, Long Island City, NY (forthcoming)

Tease 4, organized by Xirin, Prentis Hall, Columbia University, New York, NY (performance)

Columbia Visual Arts MFA Thesis Exhibition, curated by Regine Basha, The Wallach Gallery at Lenfest

Center for the Arts, New York, NY

Panang Curry by Rirkrit Tiravanija & Tomas Vu, LeRoy Neiman Gallery, New York, NY (performance)

Incarnata Social Club, presented by Kembra Pfahler & Xirin, Berlin Bar, New York, NY (performance)

By turns diffuse and binding, Fourteen30 Contemporary, Portland, OR (solo)

2018 Tease 3, organized by Xirin, Prentis Hall, Columbia University, New York, NY (performance)

Feel that other day running underneath this one, curated by Sara O’Keeffe, Times Square Space, New

York, NY

Sarah Nearer Fuller Flower, curated by Joshua Bienko, C for Courtside, Knoxville, TN

Genius Loci 6 / Focus Los Angeles: Present Progressive, Setareh Gallery, Dusseldorf, Germany

Fire in the Mountains, organized by Andy Kincaid & Thomas Macker, Jackson Hole, WY

Tease 2, organized by Asif Mian, Prentis Hall, Columbia University, New York, NY (performance)

In Response: Scenes, The Jewish Museum, New York, NY (performance)

Columbia Visual Arts MFA First Year Exhibition, curated by Natalie Bell, The Wallach Gallery at Lenfest

Center for the Arts, New York, NY

Glass Tambourine, curated by Marcus Herse, Guggenheim Gallery at Chapman University, Orange, CA

2017 Lucy Kim, Rachel LaBine, Isabel Yellin, Lyles & King, New York, NY

Sick Painters, organized by Dustin Metz, Ms. Barber’s, Los Angeles, CA

Binder #2, organized by Emily Ludwig Shaffer for In Response: The Arcades, The Jewish Museum, New

York, NY, organized by Phil Davis, Lower Arroyo Seco, Pasadena, CA

Conversation between a mirror and the sea, Fourteen30 Contemporary, Portland, OR

Shaky Towns, Alter Space / The Battery, San Francisco, CA

No Name Manon, organized by Lydia Glenn-Murray, Kodomo, Rockaway, NY

ArtBandini, Arturo Bandini, Los Angeles, CA

Inherent Risk, curated by Ana Iwataki & Marion Vasseur Raluy, 9800 S Sepulveda Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

Tiny Masters, Egyptian Art & Antiques, Los Angeles, CA

Paramount Ranch 2, Picture Menu presented by Chin’s Push, Los Angeles, CA

Post, with Picture Menu, In The Pines, Jackson, WY

Final Frontier, with Picture Menu, 208 Daly Projects, Chesterfield, MD

2016 Picnic, organized by Phil Davis, Lower Arroyo Seco, Pasadena, CA

Conversation between a mirror and the sea, Fourteen30 Contemporary, Portland, OR

Shaky Towns, Alter Space / The Battery, San Francisco, CA

No Name Manon, organized by Lydia Glenn-Murray, Kodomo, Rockaway, NY

ArtBandini, Arturo Bandini, Los Angeles, CA

2015 Inherent Risk, curated by Ana Iwataki & Marion Vasseur Raluy, 9800 S Sepulveda Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

Tiny Masters, Egyptian Art & Antiques, Los Angeles, CA

Paramount Ranch 2, Picture Menu presented by Chin’s Push, Los Angeles, CA

2014  Post, with Picture Menu, In The Pines, Jackson, WY

Final Frontier, with Picture Menu, 208 Daly Projects, Chesterfield, MD

2012 Martin Bromirski, Rachel LaBine, Elizabeth Riley, Storefront Bushwick, Brooklyn, NY

Jonathan Chapline & Rachel LaBine, Active Space, Brooklyn, NY

2010 Atlantis, Memorial Hall Gallery, RISD, Providence, RI
Black Sheep Projects Exhibition curated by Kristen Dodge, Providence, RI
Flying & Flooding, curated by Emily Taibleson, Gelman Gallery, RISD, Providence, RI
Totemic, curated by Christian Berman, Gelman Gallery at RISD, Providence, RI (performance with Lee Johnson)

2008 gold bits, Piazza Cenci 56, RISD European Honors Program, Rome, Italy

PRIZES & AWARDS
Nominated for Rema Hort Mann Foundation Emerging Artist Award, New York, 2019
Dean’s Travel Grant, School of the Arts, Columbia University, 2018
The Jewish Museum In Response Program, 2018
Nominated for Rema Hort Mann Foundation Emerging Artist Award, Los Angeles, 2015 & 2017

RESIDENCIES & FELLOWSHIPS
LeRoy Neiman Gallery Fellow, Columbia University, 2017-18, 2018-19
Visiting Artist Lecture Series Fellow, School of the Arts, Columbia University, 2018-19 Andrew Fisher Fellowship, School of the Arts, Columbia University, 2017-18, 2018-19 European Honors Program (Rhode Island School of Design), Rome, Italy, 2008

PUBLICATIONS
Columbia Visual Arts MFA Thesis Exhibition (Catalogue). New York. April 2019.
Co-editor, Night Papers 7: Streetbreather. Published by Night Gallery, Los Angeles. February 2016.

BIBLIOGRAPHY
2018 “Lucy Kim, Rachel LaBine, Isabel Yellin at Lyles & King”, Art Viewer, January 4
2017 “Lucy Kim, Rachel LaBine, Isabel Yellin / Mira Schor”, The New Yorker, December 14 2016 Pablo Lopez, “Aunt Nancy at Night Gallery”, Carla Snap Reviews, July 21

“‘No Name Manon’ at Kodomo”, Sex Magazine, April 20
2015 Chelsea Rector, “Copy ‘n’ Paste Micro-guide: ALAC, Paramount Ranch, and the LA Art Book Fair”,

ArtSlant LA, January 29
2013 Barbara A. MacAdam, “It’s Over There”, ArtNews, April
Editors of cura., “It’s Over There”, cura. Magazine, January 29

CURATORIAL PROJECTS

2016 Aunt Nancy, with Davida Nemeroff, Night Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

2014 CK one daily, with Davida Nemeroff & Mieke Marple, Night Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

2013 Elastic de facto, with Picture Menu, Carter & Citizen, Los Angeles, CA

We seem to still be moving, with Simone Subal, Simone Subal Gallery, New York, NY

It’s Over There, with Simone Subal, Simone Subal Gallery, New York, NY

2012 Style Points & Substance Pangs, with Picture Menu, Tiger Strikes Asteroid, Philadelphia, PA

Style as Substance, with Picture Menu, David Shelton Gallery, Houston, TX

WORK EXPERIENCE
2013-2017 Artist Liaison, Night Gallery, Los Angeles
2012-2013 Assistant, Simone Subal Gallery, New York