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Erica Mahinay

Softly, Boldly

November 19 – December 17, 2016

Ibid Gallery presents Softly, Boldly, a solo show with Los Angeles-based artist Erica Mahinay. This is the artist’s first exhibition with the gallery.

Flickering between the earthly and cosmic, representational and abstract, Erica Mahinay introduces new paintings and sculptures that hinge on notions of mortality, temporality and the exigency for propagation, adaptation and growth. Meanwhile, the technical aspects of Mahinay’s paintings explore the nuances of perception and imagination in relation to the construction of an image.

Affecting the viewer’s physiology by relying on optical color—traditional glazing and layering of color to create perceived color rather than direct color—Mahinay’s paintings target the viewer’s nervous system through the eye itself. Using a limited palette and loosely applied translucent layers of paint, the works reveal their tricks while in the process implicating the viewer. In exchange for the willingness to participate, the paintings offer ghostly, mysterious and atmospheric floral landscapes.

Mahinay’s bleached paintings employ similar tactics. They initially appear to have a photographic source but traces of the underlying stretcher bars expose a material process. The combination of a chance process and minimal intervention results in a likeness akin to volcanic eruptions or solar flairs. The surfaces of these paintings are predominantly uniform and smooth, though occasionally disrupted by a wrinkle or pucker in the stitched fabric.

Suggesting a temporary position or condition, Mahinay’s black sand-coated sculptures point to a mélange of objects—headstones, labyrinths, gardens or even mattresses. Sliced at their ends, these forms exist as fragments that seek new possibilities for taking shape, becoming host to a bed of fresh flowers. Sprung from cut edges and coated and preserved in a milky silicon, the potential for pollination and propagation is suspended.

With this exhibition, Mahinay expands the scope of her practice. Previously focused on weighing the pros and cons of living in a world where the tools for defining the self have become increasingly available, Mahinay now shifts the conversation from singular to plural, from concerns about reinventing the self towards one for a collective loss of certainty about the future.

Erica Mahinay received her B.F.A. in Art from Kansas City Art Institute in 2008 and went on to receive her M.F.A. at Cranbrook Academy of Art in 2013. She has had solo exhibitions at Fused Space, San Francisco, curated by Jessica Silverman (2015), T293, Naples, IT (2014) and has an upcoming solo exhibition at Lyles & King, NY (Spring 2017). She is represented by T293 and currently lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.