Holy Basil(ica), 2019

Basel 2019
David Lewis, Sprüth Magers
Holy Basil, squid ink, avocado, black lichen, cinnabar, epidote, green quartz, hematite, tulip extract, and mixed pigments on 7 canvases
Lucy Dodd’s practice explores the possibilities of painting as mythical language and radical symbolic theater. Notable innovations are both granular (her use of unorthodox materials) and monumental (the large-scale format as a sustained resource for performative meta-language). Using frottage, unmixed pigments, ground minerals, and organic materials, Dodd’s paintings are imbued with spiritual energy and effulgence. From her earliest exhibitions, she has also insisted upon dynamic and unconventional installations, often deploying the works in space as characters in a mystical drama. Holy Basil(ica) develops these mythical-poetic and spatialtheatrical aspects of Dodd’s practice in an architectural assemblage which emphasizes the material and structural aspects of painting (even the stretcher bars) as the grounds for cosmic transformation. The chapel is constructed of seven large-scale paintings, each of which is made with pigment derived from the Holy Basil (also a pun) aromatic perennial. Five of the panels face outwards; the two tallest, meeting at the far end of the structure, turn inwards and offer a brilliant and blinding painted revelation to those within.