‘For Purpose, By Accident’ with Lauren West

Lauren West "Good Fence," 2019. Oil on canvas 48" x 60". Photo by Jenny Gorman/Courtesy of Tripoli Gallery/ © Lauren West, 2021.

Beginning this weekend, Tripoli Gallery in Wainscott presents “For Purpose, By Accident,” the debut solo exhibition by Lauren West. The show opens with a reception on Saturday, October 9, from 5 to 7 p.m.

In “For Purpose, By Accident,” West looks to nature for guidance and seeks answers to her developing series of questions on living, with the aim of creating a dialogue on the direction of evolution. West’s paintings are an exploration into the duality of human existence, the vulnerability of intimacy, and a bittersweet exploration of time’s passage. Her work is an inquiry into the mistakes and accidents that lead to both progress and regression, and a playful celebration of lived experience.

Lauren West “Acorn Woodpecker,” 2020. Oil on canvas. Photo by Jenny Gorman/Courtesy of Tripoli Gallery/ © Lauren West, 2021.

This new body of work explores the nuances of the progression of beings from a prehistoric past — namely birds, which West uses as a repetitive motif — under the guise of information and shared knowledge. With her oil paintings she creates paradoxical delineations with dimensionality and an agitated, sometimes almost sculpted surface. Narrative tones range from surrealistic to menacing to barbaric, cloaked by the serenity of the natural world. The result is the wild combination of animals, beasts that barely exist, a few humans, and the constant question of what in the world we’re all doing here.

Lauren West “Baby,” 2021. Oil on canvas 30” x 30”. Photo by Jenny Gorman/Courtesy of Tripoli Gallery/ © Lauren West, 2021.

Lauren West (b. 1989, Oxford, Miss.) received her MFA from The New York Academy of Art and BFA from the University of Mississippi. She has shown with Tripoli Gallery since 2019 — as part of “Hangar,” a two-artist show with Vahakn Arslanian, and the last two Thanksgiving Collectives. She lives and works in Brooklyn.

Tripoli Gallery is at 26 Ardsley Road in Wainscott. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday noon to 5 p.m. (closed Tuesday). For details, visit tripoligallery.com.