Studio Visit: Lisa Denyer

Lisa Denyer is an artist living and working in Berlin.  Her work can be seen in PLEAT’s June 2017 exhibition as well as lisa.denyer.squarespace.com.

Please describe your work. 
My practice looks at themes of transience, impermanence, and the transportive potential of paint. The forms and colours in the work manifest from abstracted everyday observations. Ideas around containment, modernity and escapism are referenced in ongoing explorations of semiotics, digital aesthetics, and framing devices.
 
The supports are often handmade using wood, hardboard or plywood. I enjoy working with these materials for their textual qualities and their ability to withstand multiple layers of paint. The handling of paint and the interaction between the medium and raw surface is a primary consideration. Collage is also an important aspect of my work.
 
What internal and external factors motivate your conceptual choices? 
I’m really interested in the contrast between the slow, considered process of painting and the sensory overload of daily life (especially living in a city), and how contemporary painting deals with those polarities.
 
My recent work investigates the physical, visceral nature of paint and support, juxtaposed with the influence of digital aesthetics which infiltrates the work from the screens we see around us. It relates to the body, the physical world including the built environment vs the virtual, and the relationship we have with different kinds of spaces.

Who are your artistic influences and what have you learned from them? 
I get a lot out of having a dialogue with other painters, and often end up taking a particular direction because of a comment or idea which resonates with me.
     
Looking at Philip Guston’s work always makes me want to paint. I really admire the authenticity and passion which comes across in the work and in how he spoke about painting. 
 
I think that Adolph Gottlieb has a lot to do with my current direction as his work really got me thinking about the meanings of signs and symbols and the innate connections and associations we feel towards certain shapes or colours. I’m interested in how that can be applied to contemporary branding, logos etc.
 
How has social media affected your studio practice?
It’s become such a big part of the routine of artists working today. It’s great to be able to interact with my peers and to see so much good work on a daily basis. I get a sense that more and more galleries and collectors are using social media platforms such as Instagram to discover work. I do worry that it can be a bit throwaway though. 
 
Visually, I think we're really influenced by what we see on the screen, and I think it alters our ideas of how composition can be approached - for example the floating rectangles of visual information, and layering that you can see referenced in a lot of recent painting. For me, the rectangle continues to be a key motif, along with ideas of containment, and expanding and breaking out.