Laurie Reid

Watercolor on paper
February 2003

Using watercolor with very little pigment, Laurie Reid carefully constructs sophisticated abstractions that not only emphasize her materials—water, pigment, and paper —but also investigates formal constructs. Working on a large scale, Reid’s faint mark making of barely pigmented watercolor soaks the paper leaving a subtle trace of gesture and nuance. The paper, which supports the marks, is as equally defining as the marks themselves. The overall compositions are unique personal meditations on process. Reid’s vocabulary of dots, lines, and strings of pattern are faintly discernable. The rippling and buckling of the paper caused by the saturation of the watercolor adds a sculptural element to an otherwise flat medium.

The exhibition consists of seven works varying in scale. Her mark making delicately concatenates each panel while at the same time emphasizes the drawing’s heroic scale. The smaller works are composed of watery chains that also explore the expanse of the paper. While some of the marks appear to have an element of happenstance, they are all carefully controlled to produce quiet metaphors for form and process.

Reid came to her present mode of working as a traditional academic watercolorist whose imagery was rooted in still lifes of fruit. Through this investigation of the academic subject she began to shift away from representation to explore the way in which “water, atmosphere, gravity, paper and pigment intersect and interact with each other and the artist.”

Laurie Reid currently lives and works in Berkeley, CA. She received the prestigious SECA Award at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in 1999. Her work was included in the 2000 Whitney Biennial and at The Drawing Center in 1995.

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