Fractured Planes of Coherence

Paintings by Laura Paulini
Painting by Laura Paulini.
Monday, Jan 17, 2011 to Friday, May 13, 2011
Townsend Center Offices, 220 Stephens Hall
United States

Opposites attract. We yearn for stability and security, but our desire for variety and adventure invites risk. We know that setting goals and sticking to them will get results, yet we give in to the pleasure of breaking rules we ourselves have deliberately crafted. We look for pattern and consistency, but get pulled to the places where the system goes astray. While there is something satisfying about being first and achieving completion, no one is immune to the charm of objects worn or undone from the history of their use. Perhaps that is why we are so attracted to ruins: they hold the quest for completion within a man-made object against the inevitable changes to that object brought over time.

Laura Paulini’s geometric abstractions explore this opposition quite directly. The rows of colored lines—created by placing individual dots of egg tempera paint onto a wooden panel with the tip of a chopstick—represent order, structure, and growth. The dots themselves—1/8” in diameter, slightly irregular, and at times completely absent—represent fracture, permeability, and decay. Together, they cohere to create an image of iconic stillness while retaining a sense of incompleteness and change.

Laura Paulini was born in Wisconsin and earned her BFA in Drawing from the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design. Her work in book publishing brought her to the Bay Area in 1997 to work for the University of California Press, and she is currently on the staff at UC Berkeley’s Arts Research Center. In 2005, Ms. Paulini received her MFA from Mills College (where she was awarded the Jay DeFeo Prize for Outstanding Achievement) and established her studio in Oakland. She exhibits her work nationally and was recently included in “Residency Projects: 1” at the Kala Art Institute in Berkeley and “Out of Order: Geometric Systems in Bay Area Art” at San Francisco State University, where she was also Visiting Artist in October 2010. A solo show with the Eleanor Harwood Gallery in San Francisco is scheduled for June 2011.

For more information, visit the artist’s website.

Click image to view online gallery.