Secrets, whether quietly carried or quickly divulged, are part of who we are. Like gossip, they have a civilizing effect on society. In essence, secrets are memories, mutating over time, leaving palimpsests on our psyche, gradually becoming covered by the scar tissue of lived experience until the charge has worn off and we can no longer trust them as truth.
Like the faces we present to the world, the placid exteriors of these paintings conceal an inner life. They’re time capsules of events that have already occurred which, according to the visual evidence, were discrete or cataclysmic, sudden or slow. They turn viewers into investigators, probing the surfaces for clues that do not yield themselves willingly.
While the reserved attitude of these paintings is contemporary, the materials they’re made of are ancient. The resolute opacity of the gypsum, paper and wax is as minimalist as it is classical. The smooth, undulating surfaces tempt touch, playing with the tension between natural impulse and social conditioning. There are deliberate flaws, intrusions and extrusions, reveals and closures, literal evidence of the artist’s hand – fingerprints and all.
Lynn Basa is an artist living in Chicago. In addition to having completed numerous public art commissions, she is a painter. She has taught in the Sculpture department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and is the author of The Artist’s Guide to Public Art: How to Find and Win Commissions.
ORIGINAL FINE ART BY LYNN