David Armacost & Nilay Lawson
September 23 – November 4, 2017
7313 Melrose Av
Los Angeles, CA
We both spent a lot of time painting in the fall and winter of 2001, when we were finishing at the Corcoran College of Art in Washington DC. Looking back, it seems like a very fertile and formative time; we were both working to assert our agency somehow, because in many ways life was dictated by the anxiety and crisis following 9/11. Back then was when we first started to use painting in a more inward focused way—as a personal exercise in response to the alarming events happening around us. We found out painting could be a kind of secret weapon to deal with trauma and uncertainty. It was secret because it was private, interior, and not necessarily linked to physical objects or reality. It was a weapon because ultimately it made us feel more resilient and agile in the changing world.
Even though there is again a pervasive feeling of anxiety and insecurity enveloping us, we take comfort in being unified with like-minded artists and friends. For this exhibition, we believe a collaborative painting will be the most fulfilling solution, especially since we haven't worked side by side in so long. In a way this project is sixteen years in the making; it's a painting show with the goal of continuation. It's a declaration of what we can do, under duress or otherwise, anywhere and no matter what.
David Armacost (b. 1979, Baltimore, MD) is an artist and curator living in Brooklyn, NY. He has exhibited his paintings most recently in solo shows at Rachel Uffner Gallery, (NYC), February Gallery (Austin, TX), and in group exhibitions at Sperone Westwater, SOLOWAY, Kimberly Klark, and Martos Gallery (all NYC). His most recent curatorial effort, The Marriages Between Zones Three, Four and Five, at Current Space (Baltimore), took the form of a science-fictional interior populated with hanging sculpture by nine artists. Since 2012, Armacost has been continuously involved with artist-run spaces, organizing dozens of projects and exhibitions at both Evening Hours in New York and sophiajacob in Baltimore.
Born in Wurzburg, Germany and rooted in painting and drawing, Nilay Lawson's art practice is multidisciplinary, broken up into distinct parts that are interdependently bound together via ethos and lifestyle. Working in sound, poetry, book-form, and painting, Lawson has exhibited nationally and internationally with Transformer Gallery in Washington DC, USA and Garash Galeria in DF, Mexico. Currently working in South Los Angeles, she ties together her curatorial studies and art practice within and around her studio and with the stable of artists she shares a camaraderie with around the globe.
Untitled, 2017 is the artists’ first exhibition with AA|LA.
* All images are courtesy of the artists and AA|LA.