bern

Lisa Milroy/Bethan Huws

Kunsthalle Bern

Maybe it was only a byproduct of these dog days, but the white grounds in Lisa Milroy’s paintings suddenly seemed to turn into imaginary snowscapes. For an instant, they were transformed into white, soft, indeed cloudy covers, on which the lovingly painted everyday objects seemed to rest gently. Before a work entitled Sailors’ Caps, 1985, consisting of five stacked rows of five sailors’ caps with dark visors, my heat-induced mirage clued me into the unobserved spatiality of these paintings. At first, each row of caps gained its own spatial depth and identity; then, seen in terms of the totality, each individual cap gained its own presence and surrounding space within the overall composition.

This tendency to individualize the specific objects is underscored by the application of pigment, which counteracts the underlying, systematic composition. At first sight, one might think that the artist

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