Lisa Brice’s new body of work features a cast of female protagonists, engaged/absorbed in autobiographical acts of looking, and being looked at. Grooming, making up, stripping down, dressing up within the confines of domestic, private or veiled interiors, they are involved in self scrutiny, awareness, consciousness, affirmation, adoration, promotion, loathing, deprecation, defence, defiance, protection, reinvention, presentation. The mirror reflection reoccurs as a central property, simultaneously functioning as an alter ego and an imagined audience beyond the private, as well as formal device within the painting.
Brice incorporates re-imagined art historical references as well as those from popular culture, and digital media, where the hand held mirror is frequently replaced by a camera or more specifically a Smartphone, capable of producing a digital portrait of a mirror image with an unprecedented capability for dissemination and extreme narcissism. It’s a confusing state of affairs and in turn the paintings aim to disorientate the viewer in their own act of looking. Reflecting these repetitive rituals, the relentless recording of self and the multiplicity of media images, Brice incorporates offset printing techniques on a variety of surfaces in the paintings, allowing for several versions of the same motif. These smaller figure studies function as proposals for possible inclusion in larger works. Like a train of thought, they reveal the development of ideas and narratives as they evolved in her studio practice, devoid of hierarchy. Brice imagines the central exhibition space as a stage; where the paintings are simultaneously props, back drops, screens and performers in their own right, allowing for layered meaning, with the mirror as the main player.
Lisa Brice was born in 1968 in Cape Town, South Africa; she currently lives and works in London. Brice majored in painting at Michaelis UCT, her early work included constructed artworks combining found objects, or domestic materials such as linoleum, with steel to make wall artworks, installations and sculptural pieces. In last decade she returned to painting, her work negotiates with authority the difficult terrain between spontaneous drawing and figure painting. She uses various painting and off set printing techniques on a variety of surfaces from canvas to tracing paper, which often leads to repetition of a similar motifs or figure’s in her work, sometimes biographical, at other times referencing art history.
In 2006 Brice had her first solo exhibition of paintings at Goodman Gallery Johannesburg titled Night Vision in which the artist reflected on the uncertainties of childhood. In 2009 a solo show titled More Wood for The fire was presented at Goodman Gallery Johannesburg; here the work dealt with Brice’s relationship with the island of Trinidad. In 2011 her work was included in the Vitamin P2 publication, Phaidon’s major anthology of international painting In 2012 Brice presented a solo exhibition titled Throwing the Floor at Goodman Gallery Cape, Cape Town. Her first solo exhibition in London took place in September last year at the French Riviera Gallery, and a continuation of a new series which features a cast of female figures/protagonists, engaged in acts of looking and being looked at, will be exhibited at the Goodman Gallery Johannesburg in April 2015.
Lisa Brice (b.1968, Cape Town, South Africa) negotiates the precarious terrain of artistic production, as she moves between practices of spontaneous drawing and figure painting. She makes use of unexpected painting and printing techniques on a variety of surfaces, which include canvas and tracing paper. For Brice, the act of tracing often leads her to a repetition of similar motifs or figures in her work, sometimes biographical, and at other times art historical: ‘I am attracted to the idea of repetition,’ Brice remarks, ‘Chasing that high, stories told and retold.’
In 2006 Brice had her first solo exhibition of paintings at Goodman Gallery Johannesburg, titled Night Vision, in which she reflected on the uncertainties of childhood. In 2009, a solo show, More Wood for the Fire, was presented at Goodman Gallery Johannesburg; the exhibition detailed Brice’s relationship with the island of Trinidad. In 2011, Brice’s work was included in the Vitamin P2 publication, Phaidon’s major anthology of international painting. In 2012, Brice presented a solo exhibition titled Throwing the Floor at Goodman Gallery in Cape Town. She has had subsequent shows at Goodman Gallery Johannesburg in 2015 titled Well Worn, and in June 2016 she was included on a show at Camden Art’s Centre in London Making & Unmaking curated by Duro Olowu. Brice had her first solo museum exhibition in the UK at the Tate Britain in 2018, where she exhibited large scale paintings which addressed the longstanding art-historical tradition of the female nude.
The artist lives and works in London, UK.