I often joke that I make art for introverts. I am not entirely joking.
I make paintings of the anonymous spaces that I so love—simple corners of not-so-important buildings, the niche that a water fountain occupies, a small piece of a generic dentist’s office. In an anonymous space, I can be anonymous. I can be invisible. I can turn totally inward. I can take a breath. I can refocus my mind. I emphasize the geometry of these spaces, because the orderliness of geometric forms is a great vehicle for de-cluttering the mind. My paintings are filled with chromatic grays of many hues, varied pastels, and near-whites. The subtle shifts of color are not so immediately obvious. This allows the paintings to unfold with time and space. These paintings require that viewers be both physically and mentally present with the work. They both seek and create silence.
My most recent work features both a series of small-scale paintings of walls I “collected” mostly along the I-35 corridor between Austin and San Antonio and one-to-one scale shaped paintings of the individual units that comprise these walls. The small-scale paintings are all very similar in structural format. This similarity in composition allows the emphasis to be on what is different about each of these walls—the shapes of the bricks or pieces, the texture, the way that weather and age have acted upon these surfaces. The corresponding, larger-scale, shaped paintings focus in on these surfaces even more. These shaped paintings, at first glance, appear fully abstract and may even hearken back to different traditions in abstract painting. They are, however, rooted in the outside world and even in specific objects. The long stretch of highway where these components of wall were found and the walls themselves are incredibly boring. In emphasizing their shapes, their textures, and the veils of color layered by age and oxidation; I hope to show the weirdness and complexity of even the simplest things.
Lana Waldrep-Appl (b.1985 Fort Worth, Texas) is an artist who lives and works just outside of Austin, Texas. She is a self-confessed introvert and lover of paint. Her work highlights quiet and anonymous spaces and the complexity of simple things.
Lana received her MFA in Painting from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2010 and her BFA in Studio Art from the University of Texas at Austin in 2007. She has shown her work throughout Texas, as well as, nationally. Lana is a member of the Austin based ICOSA Collective. She has participated in residencies at the Vermont Studio Center and the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts. She is a full time lecturer at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas where she teaches Painting, Drawing, and Art Foundations.