From A Rock
June– 27 August 2010
Lisa Milroy was born in 1959 and grew up in Vancouver, British
Columbia. She moved to London in 1979 and graduated from
Goldsmith’s College in 1982. Milroy has exhibited her work
widely, and in 2001 had a survey exhibition at Tate Liverpool.
Milroy lives and works in London, and is represented by the Alan
Cristea Gallery. She is Head of Graduate Painting at the Slade
School of Fine Art, UCL.
Still life is at the heart of Milroy's paintings. In the 1980s
her paintings depicted collections of ordinary objects such as
shoes, plates, rocks, stamps, fans, hardware, light bulbs and
vinyl records all of which were composed in either a grid or
random scatter against an off-white ground. In the early 1990s
Milroy's approach to still life painting shifted which led her
to depict objects within settings. Her imagery expanded to
include landscape, architecture and people. As the range of
imagery grew, her painting style diversified. By continually
experimenting with fast and slow applications of paint, Milroy’s
painterly innovations have allowed her to achieve within her
paintings a wide range of mood and atmospheres.
For her exhibition at the Pharos Centre for Contemporary Art,
Milroy presents “Shouting From A Rock”. In the main gallery, a
series of large paintings stapled to the walls feature a
male/female character that is in fact a thinking feeling still
life. The head is a wig stand. Attached to the base is a small
hook with a hanger looped through it from which hangs a suit.
The hands are hidden in a pair of gloves, and the feet encased
in shiny black pumps. These paintings depict this still life
character in the grip of an emotional moment, keyed by Milroy’s
use of colour. The small gallery displays a cluster of several
small still life paintings. In contrast to the paintings of the
still life character which take the viewer away from the
observed world and into an imagined space of affect, these small
still life paintings are more concrete, and stem from what the
eye sees rather than what the body feels.