Glistens Down Me
October 6th, 2017 – October 29th, 2017
Opening Reception: Friday, October 6th, 6PM to 9PM
[view exhibition catalogue, with essay by Jason Andrew]
DAVID&SCHWEITZER Contemporary is proud to present Glistens Down Me, a solo exhibition of new paintings by Lizbeth Mitty, opening October 6th, 2017 and running through October 29th, 2017. An opening reception will be held on Friday, October 6th, from 6pm to 9pm.
The title of the exhibition refers to a poem that Mitty’s friend wrote in high school, which a teacher dismissed as “improper” due to the use of a phrase. That phrase from the poem, “Glistens Down Me,” is a perfect metaphor for her painting. It equates the wetness and sensuality found in paint (and her use of paint), as well as the sexuality found in the act of painting.
Another somewhat less carnal reading of the phrase could be interpreted as an allusion to the points of glistening lights found in her chandeliers and carousels. This great new body of work is borne of intuition, memory and physicality.
“Returning to her studio after a trip to Spain in 2014, painter Lizbeth Mitty began painting chandeliers. For many years, she’s been painting architectural memories—scenes of abandoned places set against the dirt and grime of lots left for ruin. She’s painted these places with a wild yet measured approach using everything she has in her nearly four-decade career to drown, not to resuscitate, these images in layers of goopy paint…
For Mitty, expression is representation. Her paintings insist, first and foremost, that they are about feeling—feeling through the physical act of painting. Scale, gesture, and even the residue of the painting process itself are all part of the final image…
Twister, Antlers #5, and Big Steve, are three towering paintings in Mitty’s new series of chandeliers. In each, a cascading light falls loosely down the dense dark canvas as a wave of varying values of white paint mark the surface. Painted quickly, they read like huge blind contour drawings where hand and memory work in perfect synchronicity. The stark nearly monochromatic palette makes these works even more charged. Such a work calls to mind Giacometti’s sculpted figures, holding their tremulous, shimmering position in space regardless of the viewer’s physical relationship to them…
The theme of light has followed Mitty into another new series of paintings. Blue Rider features a carousel that stretches 120 inches of calligraphic whips and spins. Whether Mitty intends for it or not, it’s a haunting painting. Out of the darkness appears solid imagery that isolate with ghostly images that come and go in the skeins of pigments. Raking drips play off blocked forms of horses and chariots bejeweled in rhinestones while the burnishing of metallic leaf highlights the giant architecture of the carousel’s rounding board. The bursts and spurts of paint match the pulse of calliope music as this epic painting seemingly spins round and round… These are paintings of decadence—sinful and self-indulgent in the act of pure painting.”
– Jason Andrew (excerpts from his essay in the catalogue accompanying this exhibition)
Lizbeth Mitty was born in New York to a family of artists, inventors and actors. Her work has been exhibited in galleries and museums in both the US and abroad and is held in numerous private and public collections including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The US State Department, and Trierenberg Holdings AG (Austria). Lizbeth Mitty is a recipient of the Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Grant, and has an MFA from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Lizbeth presently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.