• Katherine Stanek

Laura Adams

The ornate, decadent patterns in Laura Adams' paintings immediately capitvate the viewer and draw them in for closer investigation. At first glance, the design appears to be an expensive decorative paper but upon further inspection, one discovers each line and flower has been carefully painted by the artist.

Laura's interest in tromp l'oeil painting began as a student at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, where her portraiture and figurative work received many awards, but it was her love of detail and the desire to paint a more narrow depth of field that led her to start exploring patterns, a flat surface that contained many elements, such as wallpaper, patterned paper or fabric. To further blur the boundary between two and three dimension she places objects on top of the flat patterns, creating a still life scenario.

The objects in Laura's paintings are personally connected to her and also have an aesthetic relationship to the pattern. The way these articles seamlessly weld with the patterns not only exemplifies Laura's incredible talent but also adds a layer of familiarly to the paintings. The objects are relatable to the viewer like a pair of your grandmother's earrings or a keepsake that is carefully stored in an old jewelry box or a notebook that you found in the attic. It is this mixture of elegance and nostalgia that makes the works so engaging.

According to the artist:

"My paintings stem from my deeply felt connection to intimate objects in my surrounding environment. These small, meticulously detailed oil paintings arise from the process of intense observation, this act of looking long, carefully, and closely at a particular situation. This meditative process enables me to slow down and study the world with a concentrated level of attention and care. In the words of the American poet Elzabeth Bishop, "what we desire in art is the same thing that is required for its making: an attention that exceeds all usefulness."

My working process is extremely slow and laborious. The paintings develop into an accumulation of my devotion both to the object represented and the image which emerges from it. As I build the paintings up in many layers over time, I often lavish countless hours on a single piece. I work in the long-established tradition of oil painting, which appeals to me because of its broad history and its remarkable technical qualities. I seek to imbue these paintings with polish and precision while also maintaining a sensual and painterly surface. Furthermore, I strive for richer color and clear designs with a high level of despcription and detail.

My most recent body of work focuses on patterns, particularly those the Aesthetic Movement created by the British textile designer, William Morris. Usiing commodified patterned objects purchased at a museum gift shop, such as a journal or a set of coasters, I re-contextualize these decorative artifacts into my own personal narratives. A pattern, usually relegated to the margins as "purely decorative", becomes the focus of the image; these objects are transformed into my own icons of beauty.

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