Bossy Bottom—Lecia Dole-Recio’s first exhibition with Commonwealth and Council—nods to our insistent labelling, boxing, and coding of identity, underscoring ever-shifting dynamics of power, relationships, and categories. Dole-Recio’s painting-collages themselves resist facile categorization, containing both pigmented surfaces and pieced-together layers that seem to float on the wall, secured only to each other.
Each work grows out of remnant material salvaged from previous pieces (shapes and stencils; discards and rejects) which Dole-Recio combines with the paper protecting her studio floor from paint splatters, footprints, and dirt—such incidental markings thus becoming painterly gestures. Taken together the exhibition presents an excavated index of time spent and labor exerted, of compounded deliberations and could-have-beens. Subtracted cutouts make room for the addition of new fragments; edges align to form gutters; orthogonal lines appear, implying pictorial depth. The shapes and arrangements of the cutouts—their arching curves, pronounced corners, and sense of perspective—evoke architectural spaces: the artist’s home-studio, and that of the late Mexican architect Luis Barragán, whose spatial obsession with intersections of light and dark, interiority/exteriority, public and private confessed his lifelong struggle with identity.
In Untitled (Black wood edge, wood stained section, pink paper drop shadow), shadows from loosely-adhered paper tease three-dimensionality, and a trompe l’oeil of color and texture dupes the eye into reading the matte black plane as paper, too; only its unpainted edge, when viewed in profile, gives it away as a beveled slope jutting from the painting’s side. The messy stencil markings of Untitled (floor paper, outlines, curves, edges) collide with clean-cut angles and curves, mixing incident and intent, while empty cutouts literally shadow the contours of shapes used in other pieces. Dole-Recio’s latest work also incorporates foraged pigments from her daily walks (oak galls, cochineal, dirt), combining with the footprints and woodgrain that record her process as she works over pieces laid out on the floor, painting, cutting, arranging, and gluing. Abject, discarded, and fallen, the bottom is finally elevated, raised from floor to wall, the outside brought in.
Lecia Dole-Recio (b. San Francisco, CA; lives and works in Los Angeles) received her MFA from Art Center College of Design in 2001 and BFA from Rhode Island School of Design in 1994. Solo exhibitions were held at Gavlak Gallery, Los Angeles (2016); Vienna Secession, Austria (2011); Richard Telles Fine Art, Los Angeles (2011, 2009, 2005, 2004, 2002); Casey Kaplan, New York (2009); and MOCA, Los Angeles (2006). Dole-Recio’s work has been featured in group exhibitions at Gordon Robichaux, New York (2019); Tiger Strikes Asteroid, Los Angeles (2017); Craft Contemporary, Los Angeles (2015); The Pit, Los Angeles (2015); Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2014, 2001); Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA (2013); Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2004); and Daniel Buchholz Galerie, Cologne, Germany (2002).