Sperone Westwater is pleased to present an exhibition of ten new paintings by Amy Lincoln, the artist’s first show at the gallery since she joined the roster in July. In this series of imaginary seascapes, Lincoln invents new subject matter, painting intensely hued ocean waves, rays of sunlight, tumultuous clouds and starry nights—a departure from the landscapes central to her early work.
Recalling her upbringing in Oregon, where beach visits under overcast skies were frequent, Lincoln’s new panels explore the phenomena of light reflection and refraction. Lincoln paints simplified forms of atmospheric elements—air, water, light and clouds—which, given their lack of local color or concrete form, can change according to the environment. In the case of the seascape, Lincoln’s palette assumes a prominent role as the perceived color of each vista adapts to certain conditions such as dawn or dusk, rain or sunshine.
Lincoln’s paintings are expansive. She intricately covers every inch of the panel, developing a clear perspective of ground, horizon and sky through her careful attention to color and composition. Working in acrylic, Lincoln systematically layers bands of color that transition from light to dark, implying the illusion of space. In paintings like Ursa Major (Mauve Waves) and Sunset with Stars, the ocean’s waves are pared down into undulating ripples of lilac, pink or blue, implying the constant movement of the ocean as it seemingly changes color under the sky. Lincoln explains, “I think of the space of a painting almost like a stage set. Sometimes the clouds stand in for curtains. I imagine the water as appearing in rows moving in opposite directions.”
Lincoln’s affinity for creating spatial perspective is further demonstrated by her handling of the sky. While Lincoln’s clouds often feel sculptural, stars are rendered flat like an icon or symbol, often placed in concentric circles of color, creating a glowing effect. In both paintings, the subtle, near monochromatic palettes possess an ethereal, emotional quality, implying the feeling of peace and calm right before dusk. Other paintings depict sunnier skies, including Sun with Rainbow Rays (Light) and Sun with Rainbow Rays (Dark), in which rays of the sun are splayed out in a pinwheel of vivid, colorful lines. The foregrounded rays provide a sense of three-dimensionality, and their prismatic colors seem to jump off the panel in contrast to the flatter, monochromatic patterns of the sky and ocean.
Amy Lincoln lives and works in New York city. She completed her MFA in Painting at Temple University’s Tyler School of Art in 2006 and her BA in Studio Art at University of California, Davis in 2003. Lincoln’s work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at Morgan Lehman Gallery, New York (2018; 2016) and Monya Rowe Gallery, Saint Augustine, FL (2016), among others. In March 2021, Taymour Grahne Projects, London, presented a virtual exhibition of Lincoln’s paintings of seascapes. Her work has also been featured in numerous group exhibitions at galleries in New York including Sargent’s Daughters (2018), Regina Rex (2017), Norte Maar (2012; 2010; 2009), and Thierry Goldberg (2009), as well as internationally at Galerie Valerie Bach, Brussels, Belgium (2020) and Artual Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon (2019). Lincoln has been awarded residencies at the Wave Hill Winter Workspace program, the Inside Out Art Museum Residency in Beijing, and a Swing Space residency from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.