Mary Addison Hackett’s, “Fluid: Elusive Chapters from the Passage of Time (Volume 1: The Lost Months, Volume 2: Pools and Flowers)“ closes on October 31 at the Kristi Engle Gallery in Highland Park (LA, CA). 

This exhibition is a major departure for the artist as she had previously exhibited large scale paintings on canvas in her previous exhibition. Those works were bursting with activity, color contrasts and directional lines paired with a use of line quality not only to describe structure and form, but also to create worlds within worlds.

The works on display until October 31, at Kristi Engle are heavily textured with a neutralized color palette, gone are the bright yellows and reds of earlier works (except when directly referencing Mondrian, as caught in a daydream, according to the title). These are paintings of loss, a life with solid carved wood headboards working in tandem with simple dark barred windows that slice though positive space – a green plane which is interpreted as grass, interrupted by the often present empty pool.
(Above: “Sometimes I am Optimistic and Think of Mondrian”, 2010, oil on linen, 5″x7″)
These paintings ranging in size from 5″x7″ to “16×20″ are much more somber, eerily disturbing, accessible through repeated benign subject matter such as empty swimming pools, shrubs, trees and cut flowers.
(Above: “January”, 2010, oil on linen, 7” x 5”)
The colors are barely contained, the pools are utterly vacant and overgrown by mature evergreens. They burst at their boundaries and structures take on the movement of the absent water.

(Above: “Foreword”, 2008, oil on canvas, 16” x 20”)
The emptyness of the pool on several of the works are hardly contained by their representational edges. They leak, bulge and drip out. Full of feeling, lacking function, communicating emotion.
These new paintings are just as gestural as Mary Addison Hackett’s earlier works; there is an immediacy and a quickness to them. However her use of mute color shows great restraint that resonates as nostalgic, sweet, and sad.


It was nice to see someone else's thoughtful take on the show that wasn't lifted from my non-existent artist statement or the press release. Thanks Megan.