Morgan Lehman Gallery is pleased to present “Animus”, a solo exhibition of new watercolors by California based artist Laura Ball.
Ball’s work is rooted in the idea that deep within our unconscious minds, our faults, fears, struggles and strengths manifest themselves in corporeal form. The exhibition’s title refers to the anima and animus, Jungian terms that describe the two primary archetypes of the unconscious mind. The anima is the archetypical male, and animus the female. It is through her work that Ball portrays the psychic journey of a mythic heroine. She freezes these moments in pigment, holding a mirror to our own strife and resilience.
Ball’s creatures continuously morph, as do the meanings of good and evil in this other world. In this realm of the unconscious, a realm of dreams, the primal nature of our human impulses are given the freedom to unfold without barriers. Both moral and physical weight suspend indefinitely. Acts of aggression, violence and sexuality play freely, without control or judgment of the conscious mind.
The technique and skill employed in Ball’s work is precise and superb. She shifts from control to fluidity, from the tightest line to the chaotic splatter of a paintbrush with grace and intuition. She renders characters within and on top of each other, in the style of Arcimboldo. In Ball’s work, a snake, deer, eagle and a rat congeal into an elephant’s head, attach to a larger convergence of dozens more creatures, which then form the elephant body and legs, Finally, after an incredulous moment, one then realizes this is a beast charging forth. What we believe with our minds we do not believe with our eyes?
Laura Ball’s work is a journey through the unconscious. The heroes and heroines of her previous works have cleared a path to her own subconscious, and thus have enabled her to firmly grab hold of her psychic core. From this new perspective a new creature reveals itself: a Jungian avatar of the collective feminine unconscious, the ANIMUS, which has risen from the shadows.
This marks Ball’s third solo show with Morgan Lehman Gallery. Laura Ball currently lives and works in Southern California. She received her B.S. from the University of California, Davis and her M.F.A. from the University of California, Berkley. Her work has been exhibited at The Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA, The Berkeley Art Museum, Berkeley, CA, Thomas Rehbein Gallery, Cologne, Germany, Peter Miller Gallery, Chicago, IL, Paul Kopeikin Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, and Swarm Gallery, Oakland, CA and is held in private and corporate collections worldwide.