Roughly two weeks ago I went to see an exhibition of Lily Kuonen's newest work at her spacious home on Bogard St. Lily has been my painting professor this past semester and I'll be taking her again in the Spring for Painting 2. Before I had ever met Lily, I had already thoroughly stalked her website
and just knew that she was going to be my kind of prof. Her work intrigued me in a rare way, for it was quite sculptural. So sculptural, in fact, many might argue that it's not even painting at all. But that's what makes Lily's "playntings" so incredibly interesting. Playing with the various properties of painting, she turns the materials of canvas and paint into objects themselves.
Lily says about her work in her artist's statement,
"...I want to activate the potential of all of the elements that make up a painting and combine them with the interaction of the viewer. Wood, canvas, and paint possess the raw invitation to explore beyond the notion of a prescribed painting format. In this process the materials can equalize, so that it is not how one material is on top of the other, but rather how each is related to the other.
Lily's work in this old storefront turned living room turned gallery was really quite dreamy. She transformed the space with her enticing and interactive 3-dimensional work. I especially appreciate her attention to every last little detail. The brunch-timed event was complete with mimosas, pastel-colored pancakes and fixin's, and a handmade guestbook with a neon orange colored pencil to match the ratchet straps featured in several of her playful pieces.
As Lily is new to the Charleston area (though not to the south... she got her MFA at SCAD), I cannot wait to watch how her work develops while she's here. I also look forward to being in her class again next semester! She's great as a professor... unlike most of the studio art faculty at CofC, she really wants to challenge her students to be thinking about their work in a greater context, by assigning readings and giving presentations. And she's full of recommendations when it comes to books to read and/or artists to look at. CofC, or perhaps this city as a whole, needs more artists like Lily.
check out more of her work HERE