May 11 - June 2, 2019
Opening reception: Saturday, May 11, 6-9 pm
Gallery hours are Saturdays and Sundays, 12-5 pm, except for Second Saturdays when hours are 6-9 pm.
For EVERYTHING IS UNKNOWN, Norah Lovell presents two large scale, multi-component paintings comprised of fragmented narratives from unexpected sources. Her series is informed in part by map-making, stargazing, soothsaying, and detective fiction and represents an attempt to make an adequate blueprint at complex, personal life crossroads. In particular, the series references ancient Etruscan augury maps that mysteriously conflate bodily and celestial systems. Due to the irregular contour and elaborate segmentation of the map prototypes, Lovell utilizes a laser cutter to create the shaped and grooved formats for these paintings. Liz Norton (Mexico circa 1991)” is inspired by Chilean author Roberto Bolaño’s borderland novel 2666, with its unsolvable femicide at center, and contains a narrative vignette of an English woman’s journey to Mexico and her troubling encounter with her own image in a hotel room mirror. For Lovell, the story represents a colonizing of the self (contrasted to the metaphor of self-colonizing as it pertains to cultures); a swallowing whole of world by self into an invented personal, cosmological body. This large-scale painting is rendered miniaturist mode with a tiny paintbrush across 39 individual, puzzle-like cells. Likewise, The Detectives is a nocturn-scape rendered across 39 chambers weaving elements of Mexican film noir, crime-fiction graphic novels, supernatural photography and outer space odyssey. As in 2666, corruption and detection serve as central metaphors for human searching. The series orbits a mysterious, penumbral center wherein a detective-protagonist’s hunch finally is that nothing can be fully known.
Norah Lovell’s paintings and related ephemera have been featured in numerous national and international venues including Archivio Emily Harvey in Venice, Italy, The Clemente in New York City, and the Grand Rapids Art Museum in Michigan. In New Orleans she has exhibited at the Carroll Gallery-Tulane University, the Contemporary Art Center, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, and has had solo shows at Staple Goods and Callan Contemporary. Her residencies include the Emily Harvey Foundation, Venice, Italy, the International Scholars and Curators Program, Brooklyn, NY (2015), and the Joan Mitchell Foundation and Center in New Orleans, (2014). She works at Tulane University as a program administrator and instructor of interdisciplinary humanities, and has been a member of Staple Goods Cooperative since 2015.