Lara Loutrel works primarily in intaglio printmaking and sculpture. Experimental in her approach to techniques and forms, she creates abstract spaces using black ink, white paper, wood, paint and gold.
After studying printmaking at Massachusetts College of Art in Boston in the late 1990s she worked in etching, creating abstract, minimal landscapes and cityscapes.
In the mid-2000s she began experimenting with geometric, black and white wall-mounted constructions. Her interest shifted to exploring ideas of optical illusions, unknown forms with a lot of energy, arrangements which evoke a big disturbance.
Her recent work continues these ideas as wall-mounted painted wood sculptures; and in prints that combine drypoint, relief, and gold leaf.
Ulaanbaatar & Explosion
I conceived of these works while I was temporarily living in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
They exploit color vibration and forced perspective on irregular, geometric shapes and constructions to create unknown forms with a lot of energy, arrangements which evoke a big disturbance.The Ulaanbaatar works are wall-mounted, eccentric dimensional surfaces. They are painted warm, almost-purple grey and cool greenish-grey and gold leafed.
The Explosion prints combine gold leaf with red-edged black forms printed on pale blue paper.
With Gold, Station, & Installation
In the “With Gold” works I wanted to make objects that are weird and incomprehensible, unknown forms with a lot of energy, arrangements which evoke a big disturbance.
I created the five works over three months at the Bridge Guard Residency in Štúrovo, Slovakia. Each is 48 inches long and 5 inches high with irregular profiles. Two are curved and three have faces at different depths. They are hung well above eye level, forcing the viewer to look up at them, and making the bottom edge an integral aspect. They are not static - they appear very different from different angles, and in different lights.
The works are light greenish-grey painted wood panels with gold leaf, zinc paint, and black and white paint. Gold leaf reflects light above and below them.
Some images of the work in progress are here.
The Station and Installation prints are a continuation of my interest in “something unknown with a lot of energy, something which evokes a big disturbance.” I worked on them at the Kaleidoszkóp Ház in Esztergom, Hungary - one kilometer across the Danube river from the Bridge Guard Residency in Štúrovo. The prints combine drypoint with hard-edged shapes (similar to a relief process) and gold leaf.
They are geometric, black and white wall-mounted constructions, partly inspired by atmospheric optical illusions and the awe and mystery that one feels as one observes something that is not physical reality.
Some images of models and the work in progress are here.
They are abstract black & white works on paper, inspired by fragmentary dark structures outlined against a dull white sky.
I construct my work with hard-edged forms and lines, with cut paper and black printing ink, with the whites of paper and tape, with the ragged black of a drypoint line and the grey of the paper from the plate tone. I cut the paper and mend it, sometimes darkening the cut with ink. I glue stiff strips of cardboard, blackened with ink, to the paper. I peel back the grey surface of the paper, revealing white beneath the light grey film of ink. I extend irregular shapes and angular lines beyond the edge of the paper, and 3-dimensionally off of the surface.
Instead of drawing a picture of an imagined lonely structure in a barren nature, I am building that structure with heavy paper and printing ink.
work dated 2007
The prints are the structures.
They are no longer depictions of structures, they have become the structure.
Originally the prints were records of what others had built — now, they are the structures that I build.