GBGLA is pleased to present Vastness, the gallery’s first solo exhibition of paintings by Los Angeles-based artist Margaret Lazzari. The exhibition features six of the artist’s large scale abstract paintings and eleven small and medium works and continues through July 25th.
In this new body of work, Margaret Lazzari continues her exploration of the natural world - this time looking to capture the dynamic and at times unstable soul of water, sky, and earth. Luminous but earthly, these paintings are grounded in a sort of magical landscape: shafts of rich burnt oranges cut through soft violets, a riot of blues swim across the surface, shades of cream and white with hints of a whole spectrum of colors flow like a lazy river down the canvas.
Horizon lines hover at the edges of compositions - creating vast spaces where Lazzari pushes her gestural mark making to capture the essence of a landscape. Forged through Lazzari’s meticulous manipulation of paint, there is a buoyant freedom to the gestures that belie the careful thought that goes into each mark on the canvas. Although the paint is not thickly applied, there is a depth to the strokes, a texture that speaks to clouds, rocks, earth, ripples of water, and perhaps most importantly, rays of light. Lazzari’s work is a contemporary nod to the Hudson River School and American Luminist painters whose landscapes were attempts to convey the sublime and who were highly cognizant of the power of light to evoke emotion.
Lazzari also takes great inspiration in the physical and visual properties of the water. It is shapeless but it has weight and force and it bends light in the most mesmerizing ways. In these paintings, Lazzari is mimicking what happens when water shatters light into a dazzling rainbow of colors: she captures the deepest of blues, the random specks of yellow, the dappled glimmers of green.
The fluid, eternal motion of Lazzari’s brush strokes are not contained by the edge of the canvas and seem to extend into the vast beyond. One can lose oneself over a horizon line in the distance. The viewer is pulled in by hints of what could be representational and is then spun into an exploration of a surface and into a journey through the painting that transcends realism and evokes a personal journey through an internal landscape.
Margaret Lazzari is an artist, writer and Professor Emerita of Art at the University of Southern California’s Roski School of Art and Design. Lazzari was Born in St. Louis in 1953 and received her M.F.A. from Washington University in St. Louis.
She has had numerous museum and gallery exhibitions of her paintings and drawings and her work is included in numerous private and public collections including the Angell Foundation Collection, Los Angeles; the Cathedral Collection of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles; Kaiser Hospitals, California; Huntsville Museum of Art, Alabama; St. Louis University, Missouri; Azusa Pacific University, California; Harrah’s Casino New Jersey; the Fisher Museum of Art at USC; the Fresno Art Museum; Los Angeles Metro; Los Angeles County Health Department; Mount San Antonio College, Walnut , CA; and Clark College, Iowa, among others.
Margaret Lazzari is the author of The Practical Handbook for the Emerging Artist as well as co-author of Exploring Art: A Global, Thematic Approach, and two Drawing Text/Sketchbooks published by Oxford University Press.
Lazzari has completed many solo and collaborative (as part of the Lazzari and Evans Public Art Design Team) public art commissions including artwork for the cities of Castaic, Huntington Beach, Manhattan Beach, Santa Monica, Palmdale, San Jose, and the Los Angeles Metro Orange Line, all of which honor the local history of the place the works were completed. She recently designed a mural for the USC Leventhal School of Accounting that was executed with USC Roski Art and Design students and completed a mural painting for the Mary Chapel at Our Savior Catholic Church, USC Caruso Catholic Center.
In 2000, Lazzari was the subject of a retrospective exhibition originating at the Riverside Art Museum, Riverside CA, and she was the Fresno Art Museum's Distinguished Woman Artist for 2015 and had a retrospective exhibition at the museum at that time.