ArtSlant - Christopher Lawrence Mercier

ArtSlant - Christopher Lawrence Mercier: "'PAINTING TOWARDS FORM'

A space between painting, sculpture and architecture’.
These works are a continuation of my interest in contemporary abstraction, spatial imagination and the relationship of painting, sculpture and architecture. It is through their formation that I hope to engage in the unfolding of contemporary experience. The works focus on exploring testing spatial & relational opportunities in form, space, color and texture.
The project situates itself somewhere in the boundaries between painting, sculpture and architecture. Through the formal relationships created within the works preconceptions that define and separate the various fields of study are loosened and eroded. Moving between the dis
ciplines, picking up loose ends and leftovers, and allowing things to commingle in an unorthodox manner, a situation is created where new and/or engaging spatial relations can be stumbled upon, experienced and explored The process for creating these pieces is something that I have developed over the last 4 to 5 years. It involves a technique I call ‘Paint Modeling’. ‘Paint Modeling’ is liken to a cross somewhere between painting, sculpting and the architectural model making process. Its both an additive as well as reductive process that allows one to play with the visual experience of color, texture and physical 3-dimensional form. Paint is applied (and sometimes later removed) using various tools standard to the trade of contemporary painting. The difference here is that the paint is applied in various states of solidity, from a watery liquid, to a buttery gel, all the way to a physical solid. To achieve this solidity, paint is pre-cast into sheets or other shapes in plastic wrapped boxes, from there, once dry, it is cut like fudge with a utility knife or with scissors and then adhered to the work using silicon and/or other paints. The uniqueness of this process is just one example of the overlapping of ideas from varying disciplines mixing together to create new opportunities. Here the material of paint takes on two roles, its traditional role as a color pigment and a new role where it is actually treated almost like a construction material used to build the 3-dimensionality of the surfaces.

Christopher Lawrence Mercier was born and raised just outside of Detroit Michigan. There he completed a bachelor of Science in Architecture at Lawrence University before going on to study in Milan Italy at ‘Architecture Intermundium’ under Daniel Libeskind. From there he moved to southern California, completed a Masters degree in Architecture at SCI-ARC and worked for various architects in the Los Angeles area including Frank Gehry. In 2002 he left Gehry partners and started his own architectural practice, (fer) studio L.L.P. with Douglas Pierson, where he continues on today.

His initial interests in architecture evolved out of his experiences as a young child interested in the arts. Throughout his entire life he has consistently pursued simultaneous careers in both the arts (painting, sculpture) and architecture, with numerous exhibits and shows to date. His work has always struggled to erase the separation imposed by society between Painting Sculpture and Architecture in favor of a more contemporary ‘renaissance’ approach to spatial thinking.