press release

LOS ANGELES—This summer, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA), is mounting the first solo museum exhibition of the work of American artist Lecia Dole-Recio, MOCA Focus: Lecia Dole-Recio, which is on view at MOCA Grand Avenue August 3–October 23, 2006. The Los Angeles-based Dole-Recio has received international acclaim for her delicate, spare, variously scaled works that tread the margins of painting, drawing, collage, and architecture. She is creating a new body of work for her MOCA Focus exhibition, continuing her labor-intensive process of building up and extracting from the picture plane, layering one element upon another. These beautifully crafted yet deliberately imperfect works on paper reveal a deep interest in space, geometric abstraction, and perspective. MOCA Focus: Lecia Dole-Recio is presented as part of MOCA Focus, a major initiative to showcase the work of emerging artists in Southern California.

While Dole-Recio’s working process bridges traditional categories of art-making—and her works could simultaneously be considered paintings, drawings, collages, or wall-based sculptures—she prefers to describe what she produces as paintings. Using a wide array of materials—cardboard and paper, tape, graphite, and glue, in addition to paint—Dole-Recio employs a language of handmade geometric abstraction to explore the nature of expressive materials, as well as color and the picture plane. This approach derives from a fervent and varied interest in space, geometric abstraction, perspective, and the interaction of paint and paper. With an X-Acto knife as a key tool, the artist fashions her paintings through an intensive process of adding and subtracting various elements, including vellum, colored paper, and corrugated cardboard, to reveal multiple layers and create both positive and negative space. Dole-Recio’s working method begins with a rigorous formal plan, which establishes a deliberate geometric or pattern-based system as a point of departure. Working on the ground, rather than on an easel or table, she organically and intuitively merges and entangles the elements, cutting out shapes and taping them together to create the first layer, from which she determines compositional relationships. She then moves the work from the ground to the wall and adds additional paper shapes to create her second and third layers.

Once shapes are filled in and forms more clearly defined, Dole-Recio applies paint, moving easily from brush to X-Acto knife—which she favors because the irregularities and imperfections she creates with it contribute to the materiality and tactility of the work. Recently, Dole-Recio’s color palette—formerly tonal ranges of delicate pinks, violets, pale blues, and oranges—has become bolder and more intense and her works have become less deliberate, with a looser, airier, and more unpredictable feel, while still retaining the density and tactility that is pivotal to her compositions.

Dole-Recio draws inspiration from the work of such renowned artists as Henri Matisse, Philip Guston, Ellsworth Kelly, Agnes Martin, Kurt Schwitters, and Gordon Matta-Clark; artists who work in collage, patternmaking, and textile design; and the geodesic dome buildings of R. Buckminster Fuller. Fascinated by systems of structure, pattern, and geometry, she has also closely examined architectural drawings, particularly those of the British group Archigram—whose drawings and collages were characterized by the building up of layers of imagery and information. Their influence is evident in her arrangements of shapes and forms, loose systems of patterns, and spatial relationships that evoke visual connections with architectural drawings. For Dole-Recio, the artist Schwitters and his legendary room-sized collage constructions called Merzbau—wherein he covered the walls and ceilings of a room with a variety of three-dimensional forms to create a crowded arrangement of nooks, “grottoes,” and oddly shaped spaces—provides the bridge between architecture and collage.

An entry on Lecia Dole-Recio in the 2004 Whitney Biennial catalogue speaks of the quiet yet masterful crossings that are made among the media in which she works. “A sculptural cutout that makes a shadow by pushing away from the surface of one artwork may simply be a drawn or painted representation of a shadow on the next. This element of surprise encourages the viewer to consider each work more fully, examining the blurred line between her forms and the spaces that surround them. Dole-Recio’s visual gamesmanship merges material and process to ensure that her abstract works are not always what they seem.”

About the Artist Lecia Dole-Recio was born in San Francisco in 1971. She received her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and her MFA from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, in 2001. Her work was included in the 2004 Whitney Biennial and is in the permanent collections of MOCA, The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. She is represented by Richard Telles Fine Art in Los Angeles and the Adamski Gallery for Contemporary Art in Aachen, Germany. The artist was recently featured in LAXed: Paintings from the Other Side at Peres Projects, Berlin.

Organization MOCA Focus: Lecia Dole-Recio is organized by The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and curated by MOCA Curator of Architecture & Design Brooke Hodge.

Publication Accompanying the exhibition is a 48-page softcover catalogue with dustjacket, featuring more than 20 full-color plates. Designed by Mats Håkansson, the book features an essay by Brooke Hodge.


MOCA Focus:
Lecia Dole-Recio
MOCA Grand Avenue
Kurator: Brooke Hodge