Bio

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Laurie Lipton was born in New York and began drawing at the age of four. She was the first person to graduate from Carnegie-Mellon University in Pennsylvania with a Fine Arts Degree in Drawing (with honours). She has lived in Holland, Belgium, Germany and France and has made her home in London since 1986. Her work has been exhibited extensively throughout Europe and the USA.

Lipton was inspired by the religious paintings of the Flemish School. She tried to teach herself how to paint in the style of the 16th century Dutch Masters and failed. When traveling around Europe as a student, she began developing her very own peculiar drawing technique building up tone with thousands of fine cross-hatching lines like an egg tempera painting. “It’s an insane way to draw”, she says, “but the resulting detail and luminosity is worth the amount of effort. My drawings take longer to create than a painting of equal size and detail.”

“It was all abstract and conceptual art when I attended university. My teachers told me that figurative art went ‘out’ in the Middle Ages and that I should express myself using form and shapes, but splashes on canvas and rocks on the floor bored me. I knew what I wanted: I wanted to create something no one had ever seen before, something that was brewing in the back of my brain. I used to sit for hours in the library copying Durer, Memling,Van Eyck, Goya and Rembrandt. The photographer, Diane Arbus, was another of my inspirations. Her use of black and white hit me at the core of my Being. Black and white is the color of ancient photographs and old TV shows… it is the color of ghosts, longing, time passing, memory, and madness. Black and white ached. I realized that it was perfect for the imagery in my work.”

“… Lipton is a borderline-fanatical artist who props herself on a stick for at least 6 hours every day, drawing almost unrealizably thin lines and feathery details with a permanent-point pencil, betraying layer upon layer of dark secrets, sleepless nights, and footsteps in the hall.”

- Juxtapoz Magazine

“… but it’s not just her pencil that is sharp, her wit has an equally fine point which comes through in the titles of her detailed drawings.”

- The London Evening Standard

“Technically Lipton is a profound draftsman. She captures nuances of light and shade with masterful proficiency.”

- Artweek

“Her exhibition returns constantly to the theme of social masks while laying bare those deeply harboured fantasies and terrors which belie supposedly “normal” appearances.”

- The Times (London)

“No escapism here; all dark corners are revealed.”

- The Guardian

“Laurie Lipton draws in immaculate pencil with the precision of a brain surgeon. The results are stunning, worrying, funny and, above all, vengeful.”

- Artseen