New works from Melissa Haslam
6023 Washington Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232
March 2nd – 30th, 2013
Artist reception: Saturday, March 2nd, 6-9p
Culver City, CA – LeBasse Projects is pleased to present an exhibition of all new paintings and works on paper from Australian artist Melissa Haslam. Known for her meticulous painting methods and refined images of pop culture, Haslam once again draws attention to constructed societal roles and an obsession with youth and perfection in a series of haunting new paintings and drawings entitled “Floating Garden.”
In this enchanting new series, young, beautiful girls inhabit mystical garden spaces overgrown with foliage. Their hairstyles are coiffed perfectly and their outfits impeccable. The only disturbance is in their expressions, heavy with ennui and listlessness. The ambivalent female figures hint at the veiled but dangerous sexuality of Lolita. Standing amidst the flowers to which they are analogous, the girls are still in bloom.
Haslam turns her attention solely to flowers in several of her paintings and works on paper. Inspired by a fascination with scientific botanical and entomological illustrations, Haslam’s hyper-realistic technique in rendering the details of the flora and fauna recall Dutch still-life painters of the 16th through 18th centuries and their vanitas and memento mori masterpieces. Like the young girls, the flawless flowers—and their inevitable decay—are a reminder of the brevity and fragility of life.
The flowers are painted almost scientifically, but approach science-fiction as Haslam combines forms and repeats patterns to create her own hybrid species that disregard the rules of nature. In Haslam’s “Floating Garden,” the artist has created a realm that is ravishingly beautiful with just a touch of the seductively sinister.