los-angeles

Laura Stein

Thomas Solomon Art Advisory | Bethlehem Baptist Church

The substances of sorcery and of the body are commingled in Laura Stein’s paintings and arrangements of objects. Grainy black and white photographs of bodily products such as blood cells or facial skin, as well as images of various seeds and powders used in the casting of spells, are applied to blocks of wax and to oil-on-canvas paintings.The resulting works are spellbinding in a curiously literal way. Self Portrait (Blood Cells), 1989, consists of five wall-mounted rectangles of white wax in different sizes. Silk-screened enlargements of blood cells appear on the roughened sides of these blocks: their smooth fronts are blank. The wax itself is somewhat translucent, so that one gradually finds whitish clouds and swirls within the otherwise obdurate substance. Looking at these works for any length of time is like watching a blush emerge on someone’s cheeks. The corpuscular patterns on the

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