With colours carefully tuned to balance within pared-down compositions, the light, fresh surfaces of Lavinia’s paintings belie much deliberation and revision. No part of the painting is less thorough and considered than another. There is often a sense that the colours strain against containment, and the shapes, rather than being straight-jackets, turn out to be fluid as a result of shifting nuances between colours. A tension is generated here that dissolves the cliched polemic between ‘abstract’ and ‘figurative’ and asks: what in fact feels more real? Such questions and uncertainties are at the heart of any art worth engaging with.
This is an ongoing journey that anyone knowing these paintings over the years will recognise as continually unfolding. Though her work is grounded in a strand of modernism that includes such luminaries as Albers, Malevich, and Reinhardt, these paintings also draw from a deeper well of inquiry encompassing the works of historic painters who have examined the fundamental relations of plane to picture plane, of colour and tone, adjusting these elements to hold the eye.
Oliver Gosling ARCA