June 21 – August 17, 2007 | Reception: Thursday, June 21, 6 – 8 pm
MARLÈNE MOCQUET Recent Paintings
Project Space: SYLVAN LIONNI Zugzwang

Melding surrealism with the sublime, Marlène Mocquet drips her canvases in oils, acrylics and gouache, creating an effect equal parts ethereal, warped and fantastic. Each disparate picture registers as a character within a greater aesthetic alphabet that Mocquet employs to describe an absurd microcosm of players and scenes.

Mocquet’s is a world of animated objects and anthropomorphic animals. Birds, volcanoes and beasts bleed into her raw surfaces. She simultaneously obeys and defies her materials - sometimes creating the illusion of a watercolor, other times letting the viscosity of paint live on its own. Bold and arbitrary gestures operate as starting points to generate imagery and dictate composition – these surrealist devices are utilized to develop her dizzying brand of anti-narrative.
Mocquet’s lucid formal vernacular is reminiscent of early Paul Klee or at times Max Ernst in her affinity for symbols and otherworldly stand-ins. The aesthetic qualities of Klee’s almost primitive early drawings and paintings appear in delicate ways throughout Mocquet’s arrangements. Her work also lays claim to such varied sources as Art Brut, the Cobra Movement, the grotesquerie of James Ensor, the exquisite palate of Emil Nolde, and the transcendent botanicals of Odilon Redon. The artist’s coarse mark-making and the faux-naïf of subject matter presents an almost brutal and seemingly outsider quality.

A recent graduate of the School of the Fine Arts of Paris, this will be Marlène Mocquet’s first US solo exhibition, having recently shown her work at Galerie Alain Gutharc, Paris. On display at Freight + Volume will be a selection of nearly 20 small canvases, a sampling of the artist’s most recent work.

In the project space Sylvan Lionni will present four new hard-edged abstractions that emphasize his labor-intensive painting process, exploring forms of signage and the influence of everyday consumerist fixtures. Fascinated by the banal objects of daily life – faded American flag stickers, lotto tickets and computer keypads – Lionni translates this source material into his own lineage of dead-pan picture making.

Sylvan Lionni received his MFA from Bard College, NY and BA from SVA, NY. His solo exhibitions include Rebecca Ibel Gallery, Columbus, OH; Fusebox, Washington, DC and Rome Arts, Brooklyn, NY. Born in Cuckfield, England, he currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.

For more information, please visit the gallery’s website or contact Nick Lawrence (Owner), Steven Stewart (Co-Director) or Yasha Wallin (Co-Director) at 212.989.8700 or


Roberta Smith reviews Marlène Mocquet: Recent Paintings in today's New York Times
by Roberta Smith