Currently showing Lydia Mammes : Iridescence

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LYDIA MAMMES Untitled (Coral), 2018 signed and dated 2018 125-10/01 acrylic on MDF panel 125 x 125cm

£ 4,750

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January 23rd - 9th March 2019

Press Release

Lydia Mammes: Iridescence

23rd January – 9th March 2019

Lydia Mammes is a colourist, who came to colour layering as a consequence of an analytical process of working, watching, questioning, rejecting and understanding. In her paintings, colour is freed from objective context and becomes the subject itself.  She is interested in colour as a condition.  Her work might be seen as belonging historically to the tradition of colour field painting from the 1950s and 60s, a period of which Mark Rothko is famously known.  These paintings are largely categorised by large areas of saturated colour, rejecting bold mark or gestural making in favour of pure colour.

This exhibition explores how these floating colour fields shift and mimic each other depending on the light and the proximity to which they are hung together.  Some iridescent objects found in nature have multiple layers. Light reflected from the top layer collides with the light reflected from the bottom layers to cause interference.  These surfaces appear to gradually change colour as the angle of view or the angle of illumination changes.  This law of nature resembles the iridescent effect of the surfaces for Lydia Mammes’ paintings. A remarkable number of diverse colours appear as some of the first applied layers bleed out.  It takes time for these colours to emerge, bringing a contemplative aspect to her work and a degree of internal movement. This is the process of structural coloration in her work.

Her paintings are constructed in multiple layers, exposing the story of their making.  Working with low viscosity glazes allows the layers of paint to show through and gives the paintings an impression of depth.  The upper layers are not applied across the whole of the picture surface and terminate at varying distances from the picture surface, inviting us to be part of the formation process.  Her process can quite literally be read off the MDF panel.  Sometimes she uses a roller, sometimes broad watery brushstrokes, allowing the paint to drip and stain.  The texture of the panel itself adds a soft velvety appearance to the layers. In other instances the untreated, brown MDF panel is left exposed.

Her work specifically focuses on colour’s ability to change its physical state.  By this she means its ability to diffuse, radiate or echo.  She doesn’t regard colour as a theme or a subject, but as a medium which helps to demonstrate and relay how she experiences the evolutionary aspect of things we see. This is the process of perceiving, recognising or finding, and observing. In some respects it is defining the nature of colour, exploring its potential, and enjoying its ability to come together, while maintaining an autonomy.  This said, it is important to highlight that there is an undeniable and powerful connection to her palette of colours that is personal to each one of us when confronted with one of her paintings. There is also a union of opposites or underlying tension between colour hues that brings energy and intensity to these colour fields. Her process can last several days or several weeks dependant on the changes of light and the distance she gets from each piece.  It is an organic process whereby each decision leads to the next in any given moment.

Lydia Mammes studied Fine Art at the University of Applied Sciences, Cologne from 1986-91.


Exhibition History:

2018 Painting: Bart Koning, Lydia Mammes, WG Kunst, Amsterdam

2018 Krefelder Kunstverein:  Günther Zins, Lydia Mammes, Krefelder Kunstverein, Krefeld

2018 Die Grosse, Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf

2017  Volume, Kunstverein Norden e.V., Norden

2017  Affordable Art Fair (with Lisa Norris Gallery), Battersea, London

2017 Polytones, Museum Zündorfer Wehrturm, Cologne

2017 Additions, Kunstraumno.10, Mönchengladbach

2016 Stratum, Lisa Norris Gallery, London

2016 Simultan: Johannes Trittien and Lydia Mammes. Kunstverein Peschkenhaus e.V.,  Moers

2015  Die Grosse, Museum Kunstpalast, Dusseldorf

2015 Developing Room, Solo Exhibition, Lisa Norris Gallery, London

2015 REPOSE – group exhibition, Lisa Norris Gallery, London

2014   Die Grosse, Museum  Kunstpalast, Dusseldorf

2014   Repose, Lisa Norris Gallery, London

2013   The Great Art Exhibition, Kunstpalast, Dusseldorf

2011   Slow Colours, Weinbrennerei Dujardin, Krefeld