Heskin Contemporary is pleased to present paintings by Margaret Lanzetta in her first solo exhibition with the gallery. Blues For Allah borrows its title from the 1975 Grateful Dead album honoring the progressive, democratically inclined King Faisal of Saudi Arabia – also a Grateful Dead fan - who was murdered in that same year. In her work, Lanzetta links patterns of untraceable cultural origin into fragmented reflections on nationalist, spiritual and psychedelic quests inherent in the world’s globalized cacophony of cultures and religions.
New York and Morocco have been the creative sites for these paintings while the works’ titles embrace a wide range of references. Blue Cheer, evokes the 60s, a synthesis of LSD and New Age spirituality, and factures a seamless reality’s visual continuities, necessary for what critic Dave Hickey has termed, “the toppling of consciousness from its throne.” With Day Dream Believer (The Monkees), Wall of Sound (Phil Spector), and White Rabbit Alice (Lewis Carroll and Grace Slick) Lanzetta’s paintings work to ride the edge between formal stability and gut-wrenching entropy. Her supersaturated palette of neon contrasts and utilitarian day-glos pushes the boundaries of taste that are so important to cultural status quo.
Today, marijuana approaches universal legality, and the Arab World continues to reel back and forth on its seismic journey to political, religious and social reform. Lanzetta’s paintings subvert the timeless tropes of architecture, design and decoration to reach a contemporary visual language verging on simple beauty, yet flirting with the desire and unrest that fuel change.
Lanzetta’s recent exhibitions include projects in New York, Tokyo, Stockholm, and Morocco. Her work is included in numerous collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, The British Museum, The Victoria and Albert Museum, London, and The Fogg Museum, Harvard. Her work has been written about in the Brooklyn Rail, Art Critical.com and Two Coats of Paint. She has been the recipient of several MacDowell residencies, two Fulbright Awards and the British Academy in Rome Prize. Lanzetta lives and works in New York City.