new-york

Mimi Lauter, Untitled, 2018, soft pastel and oil pastel on paper, 20 1/2 x 12".

Mimi Lauter

Derek Eller Gallery

Mimi Lauter, Untitled, 2018, soft pastel and oil pastel on paper, 20 1/2 x 12".

Seeing Mimi Lauter’s work for the first time brought home to me how rare it is to see contemporary painting whose substance is rich and full-bodied but possibly inchoate, rather than style, topicality, or an arm’s-length commentary on art history. Lauter’s work is clearly imbued with historical self-consciousness—the press release rightly cites “Redon, Vuillard, Bonnard, as well as other members of the Nabis and Post-Impressionists” among the Los Angeles–based artist’s precursors, to which list I would add Blaue Reiter–period Kandinsky and maybe a few more recent explorers of the cusp between evocation and abstraction, among them Howard Hodgkin and Thomas Nozkowski. But one didn’t get the feeling that clever stylistic triangulation—deriving a familiar-yet-fresh signature style from a chosen set of progenitors—is the point of her work. Rather, any such synthesis is

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