No Place at L’Inconnue

Photos couresty of L’Inconnue

“I form an ‘O’ with my arms and a place opens up—a pool of water, reflecting the sky. It’s a perfect circle of nothing: no place.” – Frances Loeffler, Three ruminations on no place

The strongest work in No Placean exhibition of many great works, is a small oil painting depicting two Christmas presents on fire. Quintessa Matranga’s paintings are brazen, and thrillingly off-trend. Her painting Fire is like an intrusive thought, those private flashes of something wild, violent, or deeply strange, that all of us experience now and again, but never say out loud. 

This exhibition of three female surrealists feels like a mapping of psychological space. Alison Yip’personified sunflowers—depicted in paint, anti-wrinkle cream, and sunscreen—feel sad in their attempt to be fresh as a daisy, yet are sleeping wide awake. No Place showcases vivid imagery, symbols, and odd pairings. As an audience, our collective subconscious expands unchecked, instating in each of us a feeling of clairvoyance—we are noticing things that we ought not to be. Apophenia, the tendency to mistakenly notice connections and meaning between unrelated things, is on the rise. No Place hits this nail on the head. Emily Ludwig Shaffer’s circles fit perfectly into each other, as a world fits neatly inside a box. Loeffler’s exhibition text, in its attempts to link these three painters to visions of borders, walls, and refugees, instead evokes feelings of psychological realms, alternate realities creeping in. No Place is on view at L’Inconnue until March 30th. – CM

Quintessa Matranga, Fire, oil on canvas, 9 x 12 inches, 2019

Alison Yip, mære, oil on canvas, 32 x 44 inches, 2019

Emily Ludwig Shaffer, Bird bath bow, oil on canvas, 54 x 47 inches, 2019

Emily Ludwig Shaffer, Bay Leaf Wrapped Night, oil on canvas, 42 x 38 inches, 2019