Lisa Milroy, Party of One, 2013
Installation painting and painting performed
9 dress object-paintings, 1 wearable dress painting, 10 wooden stands, clay bases
Oil on unstretched canvas
182 x 234 cm x 2 m (71¾ x 92¼ x 78¾ in). Photography by Benjamin Westoby.

Here & There: Paintings by Lisa Milroy

Wednesday 17 January, 12am – 12am

Preview: Tuesday, 16 January, 6-8pm

Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art is delighted to present Here & There: Paintings by Lisa Milroy. This major solo exhibition brings together a selection of Milroy’s paintings from the past fifteen years, exploring her approaches to still life through making, looking, touch and transformation.

The term ‘still life’ signals the fundamental experience of painting for Milroy, encapsulating her fascination with the relation between stillness and movement, contemplation and action. In the 1980s Milroy’s paintings featured everyday objects depicted against an off-white ground, compositionally arranged in a grid or random scatter and characterised by a quick gestural application of paint. In the 1990s, Milroy shifted from fast painting to a slower, more modulated approach. She began to paint objects within settings, which expanded her understanding of still life to embrace landscape, architecture, portraiture and storytelling. More recently, Milroy’s sense of experimentation has led her to explore painting through installation and performance.

In Here & There, motifs of clothing and shoes are foregrounded, object categories that have defined Milroy’s work since the 1980s. On the ground floor of Parasol unit, the exhibition focuses on a notion of ‘Here’ and includes paintings that address materiality and bodily presence through three-dimensional object-paintings, pattern and colour. Up & Down, 2016, and Off the Rails (Ahmedabad), 2016, invite the viewer to physically interact with the work, while other paintings such as Garment, 2017, FormLess, 2016, and Detached, 2012, picture items of clothing in various states of formation. The installation painting Party of One, 2013, includes a performative component, and performances will take place on a number of weekends throughout the exhibition.

On the first floor gallery, the exhibition focuses on ‘There’ and presents a selection of monochromatic paintings that explore presence and absence, loss, time and memory – all themes recurrent in Milroy’s practice. Included is the monumental twenty-metre wide painting Black and White, 2004–2005, based on the artist’s studio, and Shoes, 1985, the only work from the 1980s in the exhibition, on loan from Tate and a touchstone painting for Milroy.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a programme of educational events based on Milroy’s practice and the exhibition catalogue includes a foreword by Ziba Ardalan and texts by Hanneke Grootenboer and Briony Fer.­

The installation painting Party of One, 2013, includes a performative component which will be performed by Amelia Barratt and Minyoung Choi on the following dates during the exhibition at Parasol unit:

Saturday, January 20    10:30 am + 11:30 am

Saturday, February 3    2:30 pm + 3:30 pm

Saturday, February 17   2:30 pm + 3:30 pm

Sunday, March 4         2:30 pm + 3:30 pm

Sunday, March 18        2:30 pm + 3:30 pm

The duration of the performance is approximately 15 – 20 minutes, taking place within the painting installation and around the gallery.

Parasol unit appreciates the generous support of the Arts Council England Grants for the Arts.


Artist Biography

Lisa Milroy was born in Vancouver, Canada. In 1979 she moved to London to study at St Martin’s School of Art and Goldsmiths College (1979–1982). Milroy was elected to the Royal Academy of Arts in 2005 and is currently Head of Graduate Painting at the Slade School of Fine Art, UCL. Milroy won First Prize in the John Moores Painting Prize in 1989. She was an Artist Trustee of Tate from 2013–2017 and a Liaison Trustee to the National Gallery from 2015–2017. Since 2015, Milroy has worked with the Vodafone Foundation’s Instant Network Schools, where she initiated ‘Hands On’, a practical art workshop programme that can be delivered through digital connectivity for schoolchildren in refugee camps. Milroy exhibits her work widely on the national and international stage, and her paintings are held in many public and private collections.

Selected solo and shared exhibitions (since 2014): Stephenie Bergman and Lisa Milroy: Tango, Sassoon Gallery, Folkestone, UK; Cloth, Mansun Farm, Kotarpur (The Retreat), Ahmedabad, India; Out of Hand, Laure Genillard Gallery, London, UK; Social Fabric, Oriel Sycharth Gallery, Wrexham, Wales.

Selected group exhibitions (since 2014): Meticulous Observations and Naming the Money, works selected by Lubaina Himid from the Arts Council Collection, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, UK; RA Summer Exhibition 2017, Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK; Painting in Time Part 1, The Tetley, Leeds, UK, and Painting in Time Part 2, SAIC Sullivan Galleries, Chicago, USA; Seeing Round Corners, Turner Contemporary, Margate, UK; Grosse Geister, Artist Room: Lisa Milroy, Kunstmuseum Bonn, Germany; Present Tense, Swindon Museum and Art Gallery, Swindon, UK; At Home, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield, UK; Houses in the CAM Collection, Museu Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon, Portugal; I Cheer a Dead Man’s Sweetheart, De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill on Sea, UK.

Upcoming solo and shared exhibitions include Lisa Milroy and Jayne Parker: Still Life, A.P.T Gallery, London, UK, (March 3–18, 2018); and Hand-Made, One Off Contemporary Art Gallery, Nairobi, Kenya.

Supported by: