Join Green Street Projects on Saturday 3 August for the opening of Monique Lacey's solo show, On the Verge.

"The notion that if a painting is a bounded volume, and how the skin or surface of that painting reveals or disguises its structure and what it contains, underpins this body of work.

The work manifests itself in the production of hollow, rectilinear-cuboid-forms, which present themselves as support and surface. The relationship between the front-facing plane and the sides of the work can challenge the traditional conventions of painting when the proportional relationships of scale are reconfigured.

Anish Kapoor suggests that “The skin of an object is what defines it. It’s weight and mass are contingent on its skin”. So, if those the properties of skin and volume are highlighted and emphasized in the work, does it firmly retain its status as painting? And if these questions are addressed, how can what appears to be a contradictory relationship between Minimalism and the Baroque be resolved?

Commercial packaging materials purchased at local hardware stores offer structural propositions of both volume and surface. The materials are assembled and covered with plaster and other materials, which act as both binding agent and new surface to conceal and/or reveal the structure underneath. While there is an adherence to truth of materials, the materials are used to construct a level of artifice in the work.

The initial building up of each form is countered by a crushing act that results in the form being either destroyed or substantially reconfigured. The act of crushing is a performative act using the body’s weight, and is one that can be playful, aggressive or cathartic.

The works function as benign violations of the established legacies of power that can be tracked back through the histories of the Baroque, De Stijl, and Modernism to the power of the boardrooms that became the resting place of Minimalism. Where this language of form and its male-centred narratives were once central and perhaps pertinent, today this language seems outdated, hollow and tiresome."

–Monique Lacey


Monique Lacey is an Auckland based artist. She received her MFA (First Class Hons) from Whitecliffe School of Art & Design in Auckland, New Zealand. Selected exhibitions include Gray Contemporary, Houston, TX, USA; The Vivian Gallery, Matakana, NZ; Auckland Art Fair, Auckland; Waikato Museum, Hamilton, NZ; Malcolm Smith Gallery, Auckland, NZ; Rm Gallery, Auckland, NZ; Sanderson Gallery, Auckland, NZ, Demo, Auckland; West End Art Space, Melbourne, Australia; Yarra Sculpture Gallery, Melbourne, Australia. She has participated in an artist residency in Bangkok.