Mary Lum: When the Sky is a Shape

January 8 - February 26, 2022
  • Yancey Richardson is pleased to present when the sky is a shape, an exhibition of new paintings and painted photo collages by Chinese American artist Mary Lum, on view from January 8 through February 19, 2022. The works in the exhibition deploy detritus gleaned from the urban environment as a foundation from which to explore the emotional, as well as physical contingencies of urban life, while also addressing geometric abstraction, perspectival space, and found language.

  • Mary Lum, On Air, 2021. Acrylic on paper, 75 1/4 x 49 1/2 inches. $16,000.

    Mary Lum, On Air, 2021. Acrylic on paper, 75 1/4 x 49 1/2 inches. $16,000.

    • Mary Lum Rue Charlot, 2021 Acrylic, found paper, and photo collage on paper 30 x 22 inches
      Mary Lum
      Rue Charlot, 2021
      Acrylic, found paper, and photo collage on paper
      30 x 22 inches
      $7,000.00
    • Mary Lum Of-From, 2021 Acrylic on paper 30 x 22 inches
      Mary Lum
      Of-From, 2021
      Acrylic on paper
      30 x 22 inches
      $7,000.00
    • Mary Lum Poster, 2021 Acrylic, found paper, and photo collage on paper 30 x 22 inches
      Mary Lum
      Poster, 2021
      Acrylic, found paper, and photo collage on paper
      30 x 22 inches
      $7,000.00
  • Lum’s large scale paintings derive from collage studies comprised of printed material, ephemera and photographs gathered during long, unstructured walks through the streets of London, Paris, and New York. Inspired by Guy Debord’s concepts of deĢrive and psychogeography, with a nod towards the experimental hypergraphics of the Letterists, the paintings combine fractured, stuttering text with architectural details and flat fields of color. As situationist improvisations, they convey the overlooked undercurrents of urban living. In Lum’s small, jewel-like painted photocollages, images of signage and storefronts are fragmented and stripped of their loci within layered, kaleidoscopic arrangements of color and line.

  • 'Each image is a paracosm, an imaginary world constructed over time containing aspects drawn from everyday life that appear out...
    Mary Lum
    Endless Fall 1, 2021
    Acrylic on paper
    83 x 55 inches
    $20,000.00

    "Each image is a paracosm, an imaginary world constructed over time containing aspects drawn from everyday life that appear out of order. These are imperfectly imagined worlds where things may be awkward, crooked, out of place; too smooth, too rough, overly layered, or left bare." - Mary Lum

     
    • Mary Lum Curtain, 2021 Gouache and photo collage on paper 11 x 14 inches
      Mary Lum
      Curtain, 2021
      Gouache and photo collage on paper
      11 x 14 inches
      $4,500.00
    • Mary Lum Queens, 2021 Acrylic, found paper, color pencil, and photo collage on paper 10 7/8 x 13 7/8 inches
      Mary Lum
      Queens, 2021
      Acrylic, found paper, color pencil, and photo collage on paper
      10 7/8 x 13 7/8 inches
      $4,500.00
    • Mary Lum Surface, 2021 Acrylic, watercolor, gouache, and photo collage on paper 10 7/8 x 14 inches
      Mary Lum
      Surface, 2021
      Acrylic, watercolor, gouache, and photo collage on paper
      10 7/8 x 14 inches
      $4,500.00
    • Mary Lum Voyage, 2021 Acrylic and photo collage on paper 12 x 16 inches
  • “When walking or driving in the city it is sometimes possible to detect the poetic subconscious of the place, the...
    Mary Lum
    SeeSaw, 2021
    Acrylic on paper
    69 7/8 x 52 1/2
    $18,000.00

     When walking or driving in the city it is sometimes possible to detect the poetic subconscious of the place, the thing we cannot see but occasionally access through feeling. The sharp attention required for this experience comes from extensive looking (for nothing in particular), walking without distraction but implicitly always distracted.” - Mary Lum

  • Using acrylic paint, paper, glue, colored pencil, watercolor, gouache, photographs, and house paint, Lum’s imagery and surfaces each contain a history—memories of other paintings and collages, sometimes visible as pentimenti, sometimes concealed. Made during the pandemic, the works in the exhibition express the unsettled nature of the times and the artist’s longing to be in the cities she normally frequents. The sky becomes the shape of the window through which one sees it.

    • Mary Lum Endless Fall 3, 2021 Acrylic on paper 30 x 22 inches
      Mary Lum
      Endless Fall 3, 2021
      Acrylic on paper
      30 x 22 inches
      $7,000.00
      View more details
    • Mary Lum Endless Fall 2, 2021 Acrylic on paper 30 x 22 inches
      Mary Lum
      Endless Fall 2, 2021
      Acrylic on paper
      30 x 22 inches
      $7,000.00
      View more details
  • 'These pasted elements suggest a view of the city itself as a collage, as a series of unplanned accretions and...
    Mary Lum
    Informations Pratiques, 2021
    Acrylic and photo collage on paper
    67 3/4 x 44 3/4 inches
    $16,000.00

    "These pasted elements suggest a view of the city itself as a collage, as a series of unplanned accretions and chance conjunctions that generate unexpected moments of pleasure. It is this experience of the city that Lum’s collages attune us to, defamiliarizing the urban environment by turning its details disorientingly on their heads and embedding them in arrangements of paint that revel in the accidental aesthetics of the street."

    - Alastair Wright, Artforum

  • Mary Lum, Large Rat, 2021

    Mary Lum

    Large Rat, 2021 Acrylic and photo collage on paper
    30 x 22 inches
    $7,000.00
    • Mary Lum 11th Avenue, 2021 Gouache, watercolor, acrylic, color pencil, and photo collage on paper 11 1/4 x 14 7/8 inches
      Mary Lum
      11th Avenue, 2021
      Gouache, watercolor, acrylic, color pencil, and photo collage on paper
      11 1/4 x 14 7/8 inches
    • Mary Lum Pressure, 2021 Acrylic on paper 30 x 22 inches
      Mary Lum
      Pressure, 2021
      Acrylic on paper
      30 x 22 inches
      $7,000.00
  • Mary Lum was born in St. Cloud, Minnesota. She received her BFA from the University of Michigan and her MFA from the Rochester Institute of Technology. Her work has been featured in Invisible Cities at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA, and Tell It To My Heart at the Kunstmuseum fur Geganwartskunst in Basel, Switzerland. She has been the recipient of numerous awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship (2010), the Radcliffe Fellowship for Advanced Study (2004-2005), and a MacDowell Colony Fellowship (2018, 2012). She is a professor of painting and drawing at Bennington College, in Bennington, VT.