The Tilting Chair
28 October–10 December, 2022

Press Release PDF

Lily Stockman

The Tilting Chair

October 28 through December 10, 2022

Opening reception October 28, 6 - 8PM

Charles Moffett is pleased to present The Tilting Chair, a solo exhibition of new paintings by Los Angeles-based artist Lily Stockman. This marks the artist’s third solo presentation with the gallery and her first show in New York since 2020. The gallery’s exhibition coincides with Stockman’s inclusion in two museum exhibitions currently on view at the newly opened Orange County Museum of Art — the California Biennial 2022: Pacific Gold and 13 Women.

The exhibition’s title is inspired by the Shaker tilting chair. In the late 19th century, Shaker woodworkers across New England began introducing a new detail to their traditional ladder-back chairs: a small, half-moon socket integrated into the back legs so that a person could lean back without slipping or denting the floor. The tilting chair allowed the sitter to break from the axis of the table and lean back, just enough, to introduce the possibility of deeper thought.

Stockman’s new paintings likewise enjoy a newfound ball and socket of sorts, infusing her floating forms, grids, and frames with a fresh elasticity and dynamic sense of movement. While still drawn from the natural world and its grammar of symmetry, camouflage, and repetition, we now see circles split in meiosis. Borders melt. Symmetries lean, ever so slightly. The customary logic of her distinctive painterly system has begun — playfully — to break its own rules.

Her pastels and tertiary palette break form too. In Heatwave (all works 2022), a central oval of brilliantly feathered amaranth red radiates energy outwards, pulsing in high octane hues of tiger orange and cherry blossom pink, until burning out in a darkened amber red at the canvas’s edge. Camellia Japonica features the abstracted form of the eponymous flower’s peony-shaped blossoms at its center; its pink petalled outlines float in an expanse of warm, buttery yellow, yet grounded by a rectangular core of amber, honey and ochre.

The exhibition underscores the expanding range of scale that Stockman has pursued for her compositions, spanning from the intimate to the monumental, all presented in careful calibration to the gallery’s Tribeca space. In the first gallery, a long, slender room, one encounters a series of mostly small paintings, 14 x 11 inches, installed poetically in iambic feet. The high-ceilinged back gallery is home to what Stockman refers to as her “clydesdales”– large 84 x 62 inch oil on linen paintings, her largest works yet, which nevertheless carry the delicacy and personal painterliness of the smaller works. Several medium-sized, 48 x 36 inch, works are positioned as moments of pause throughout. Collectively, the varying scales instill a particular cadence to the experience of walking through the entire body of work, drawing the viewer closer in to see details, pulling them back to take in the whole. A body dancing through space the better to look, a chair leaning back from a table the better to think — these are the movements, the liminal spaces, the moments in time that Stockman captures in her paintings.

Lily Stockman (b. 1982, Providence; works in Los Angeles and Yucca Valley. MFA NYU 2013, BA Harvard 2006). Stockman draws from her affinity for the natural world and interest in the organizing principles of structure –from poetry meter to musical form– to create arrangements of biomorphic shapes, planes, and borders. Painting flat on sawhorses, Stockman builds her surfaces up in dozens of layers, diluting her oils with solvents to manipulate the opacity, luminosity, and saturation of each coat of paint. Stockman has recently exhibited with Almine Rech in London and Massimo De Carlo in Milan and Paris; and in 2023, she will have a solo exhibition at Massimo De Carlo in London. Her work is in the permanent collections of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C. and the Orange County Museum of Art in Costa Mesa, CA.