UNTITLED, ART San Francisco 201918 June–20 June, 2019
Lily Stockman, who splits her time between Los Angeles and Joshua Tree, paints flat on sawhorses freehand, working up her elegant surfaces in thin layers of oil, using various thinning solvents to manipulate the opacity of each coat of paint. Many of her paintings feature symmetrical, voluptuous shapes that are drawn from nature and give hints to plants, birds, and places. Stockman’s use of color and shape draws on her lifelong affinity for horticulture, agriculture, and environmental studies—in the latter of which she received an undergraduate degree from Harvard University.
A large number of art-historical contexts inform Stockman’s distinctive vernacular of abstraction, from the compositions of Fra Angelico’s jewel-like fifteenth-century frescoes, to the tradition of seventeenth-century Mughal miniature painting, to the language of American abstract painters of the twentieth century: Milton Avery’s New England coastline, Agnes Martin’s desert southwest, and Billy Al Bengston’s Los Angeles, to name a few.