Tedious labor is oh so hard, let alone fun. But Sally Bruno shows otherwise, that having a good time while subjecting to a taxing, monotonous regimen is in fact an option. Bruno’s richly texturized paintings at LAM Gallery are orderly fun and peculiarly pleasant — imagine geeking out with close friends while consuming a modest amount of spiked fruit punch at a private garden party.
The process starts by dividing the picture plane like a poetic terraced rice field found in a provincial village. Diligently farming each plot of land with loose patterns, fluid motifs, and a whole lot of paint, Bruno eventually completes the picture. LA Woman is the most ambitious, both rhythmically and conceptually. Think adult coloring books or paintings by numbers laced with garishly red Cosmo or mojito having too much mint leaves.
Emeralds tinted with young grassy chartreuse, shallow ocean teal, and various other blue greens set the mood most prominently. Cool lights flood the surfaces. Inanimate yet lively still lifes float like colorful, weightless mélange against the pristine white walls. Despite the thick, icing-like application of paint, the forced perspective flattens wild flowers and exotic birds. Bruno renders pictures — not space. The paintings display neither volume nor depth, but only the superficial immediacy. Everything there is to know exists right there on every square inch of her canvas.
Resisting the urge to touch and feel, I remember the very first time seeing an actual Van Gogh, haptically understanding what it means for a flat work of art to possess a rich surface that vibrates with great energy.
Sally Bruno’s New Paintings are on view at LAM Gallery until August 15, 2015. It’s a GREEN-MEANS-GO.
All images courtesy of artist and gallery. All photos by Jeff McLane.