Los Angeles | May 2 - June 13 2015
In Andromeda, Laurie Nye offers a vision of an alternate reality. The story posits The Andromeda Galaxy as a place where women build and maintain a peaceful society. The governance of Andromeda is guided by a single goal: to balance the universe by eradicating cruelty. Part organic and part mechanical, the women of Andromeda are hybrid beings who are skilled interstellar travelers. Venturing out alone and in groups into other galaxies, they are seekers who desire to understand and better the worlds in and among which they travel. When they reconvene at home in The Andromeda Galaxy, they commune to ponder the universal condition as a collective, benevolent body.
The Andromeda Galaxy is a faraway place, but Nye’s ideas unfold in a present moment simultaneous to the now in which we experience her work. While her story may be influenced by the utopian concepts so inventively explored in speculative fiction, her insistence on the nowness of a parallel universe is a forceful argument for the plausibility of the ideals she sets forth within her project. Creating images that seem both ancient and futuristic, Nye looks back as well as forward, generating a productive tension by allowing for a non-linear interpretation of time as an ever-shifting present. Setting her story in The Andromeda Galaxy grounds the narrative in a real place but also references Greek mythology. In the story of Andromeda, the daughter of Cepheus and Cassiopeia was punished for her extraordinary beauty. When Cassiopeia bragged that Andromeda was even more beautiful than the comely sea nymphs known as the Nerieds, Poseidon sentenced Andromeda to her fate. Stripped bare and chained to the cliffside rocks, Andromeda waited for the sea serpent Cetus to do his bidding, but Perseus finally came to her rescue.
In the feminist tradition of recasting myths to empower female characters, Nye transforms the story of Andromeda, granting her agency. The theme of transformation echoes through the paintings. As the rulers of Andromeda transform the world by enlightening mankind, they are also figures that embody transformation. Their hybrid composition allows them to be shapeshifters, sometimes appearing with multiple features or limbs that show them to be higher beings. Throughout the paintings, organic and geometric shapes achieve spatial harmony, color blurs distinctions between reality and fantasy, natural and built environments merge into undifferentiated spaces. Nye is a medium for the stories of The Andromeda Galaxy. She is a seer-cum-artist using painting to deliver a message to those willing to find the potential for change that lies within us all. Her mysticism is grounded in a narrative with a political dimension, inviting us to participate in a positive universal transformation.
Laurie Nye was born in Memphis, Tennessee in 1972. She earned a BFA from the Memphis College of Art in 1995 and a MFA from the California Institute of the Arts in 2002. She lives in Los Angeles. Nye’s work has been featured in one- and two-person exhibitions such as The Crystal Eaters, Statler & Waldorf Gallery, Los Angeles, CA (2013); Nature Diamond Figure, Parker Jones Gallery, Los Angeles, CA (2011); So Forgotten, Material Gallery, Memphis TN; and Laurie Nye and Paula Cane, Karyn Lovegrove Gallery, Los Angeles, CA (2007). Her work has been included in thematic exhibitions including The White Album, Richard Telles Fine Art, Los Angeles, CA (2014); Material Anthology, Material Gallery, Memphis, TN (2013); Unfinished Paintings, LACE, Los Angeles, CA (2011); Like a Soft Summer Rain, Post Gallery, Los Angeles, CA (2010); Boo, Karyn Lovegrove Gallery, Los Angeles, CA (2007); and Sugartown, Elizabeth Dee Gallery, New York, NY (2005).