Every January the museum exhibits artwork by the Bonita artist Audi Lawson. Audi’s artwork documents Bonita from the 1950’s through the 1990’s including mediums such as photography, sculpture, collage and drawing.
Audi’s Fantasy Landscapes
In the 1990s, in a melding of elements of sculpture and photographs, Audi’s landscape fantasies evolved from collages of pieces of torn paper that were subsequently photographed and incised. Since these images have little perspective, the foreground and background can seem to switch places. In the complete darkness of the darkroom, Audi later added her own hands and other objects to the color backgrounds, a process where Audi had no idea what might develop. “The wonderful wild pleasure of not knowing what I was going to get never ceased!” she says in her description of the work.
In the 1990’s, Audi returned to using paint, creating textural images of acrylic paint on Masonite backing. The dense surface of Masonite keeps the paint from soaking in like canvas, and gives the final look a layered quality. The Masonite pieces are some of the largest that Audi did in her career as well as some of the smallest at only 6” square.
Audi was drawing what she called “unbuildable sculptures.” Using a variation on perspective drawing, a technique used to represent three dimensional images on a two dimensional place, Audi made line drawings that make it difficult for the viewer to discern what is the inside and outside of the image.
Inside and outside, straight lines and circles, two-dimensional and three dimensional, black & white and color, representational and fantastical, traditional and rule-breaking – Audi Lawson explored them all, and brought them together to create a unique body of work.