Lillian Bayley Hoover
These paintings are based on photographs of models, and engage in a significant filtration process. Physical facts are inevitably simplified and distorted, as real-world signifiers are transformed first into a model, then a photograph, and finally a painting. Some of these works examine the many ways Americans have experienced the Iraq war, and address issues of power and powerlessness as manifested in human interaction during wartime. Model figures and toy dolls represent the housewife, the student, the businessman, the soldier; all occupy the uneasy utopia of a model world. Other pieces explore built structures in which abstract power is reified, embodied or performed. These sites belong to domains such as politics, military, commerce, learning, and religion. Rendered in a quasi-abstract manner, the paintings denude the structures of the power they once wielded. They are thus reduced to formal composition, pattern, and color, remaining only partially recognizable. The photographic reference suggests a place one could visit, but the high point of view discomfits the observer, leaving her unable to discern how her body might relate to the space.