Since her debut exhibition at Artistry Galleries (2009), Melbourne based artist Lani Mitchell has since completed her studies culminating in a double degree in Visual Art and Arts at Monash University, where she graduated with a double major in Painting and English Literature and a Minor in Film and Television.
Since her 2009 Artistry Galleries exhibition, Mitchell has sold over 90 paintings to collectors in Sydney, Newcastle, Melbourne and New York. Mitchell launched her sellout Australian exhibition in 2014, before relocation to the New York City for 2015. SKIN presented eight large scale works on canvas, using acrylic based polymer synthetic paint. Over the last eight months Mitchell has occupied a studio in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Creating her latest Manhattan show, 'Chrysalis.' Mitchell was quickly invited to launch her new series at New York's Parson's School of Design. Max Gimblett, the well loved New Zealand artist, who has lived in New York since the 60's took Mitchell under his wing when he invited her to his New York, Soho loft, when she was 20 years of age. Since her visit, Max has become more than her artist hero, but mentor and dear friend.
Mitchell returned to Melbourne to launch her late 2015 series, Helm, and 2016 series Swoon, both being exhibited in High Street, Armadale, at Graham Geddes. Mitchell was especially selected to be featured in the Menzies Auction House 2016 catalogue and put up for auction.
In 2016 Mitchell began hosting a weekly Life Drawing class with her partner, from his Melbourne warehouse home. She has continued hosting her classes in 2017, from her new Richmond studio. Mitchell was recently commissioned to create artwork for luxury brand
Chanel, in celebration of their new fragrance L'eau. Mitchell latest exhibition, KIND, took place in June, 2017 at Metro Gallery, in High Street, Armadale.
Mitchell's work reveals an incredibly intuitive approach with fluid compositions, particularly attentive to textual forms, creating beautiful sensuality that draws the viewer into an experiential or emotional plane. As much as Mitchell's paintings are executed in a feverish and frenzied immediacy, they are abstracted, layered with a deep consideration for the raw force that drives her creation. Mood and emotions merge and coalesce on the surface of the canvas. The paint is performative, professing both an allusion to feeling, and also acting as a veil; disfiguring the layers of stories she builds into the weft and weave of the canvas. The work is voluptuous. Mitchell creates alchemic landscapes, full of passion, intensity and a lust for life.
She is inspired by the power, frankness and energy of 1960’s abstract artists – De Kooning, Krasner, Rothko, Pollock and Frankenthaler. As a woman, the field of abstract painting is a schema of masculine concerns where the undefined image stands in stark contrast to the constructed environments of contemporary society. Whilst Mitchell retains these hallmarks of abstract expressionism, her concern is focused on using the vehicle of abstraction to address concerns of womanhood, femininity and power.
Her dedication to painting enables her to explore the tactility and resonance of the medium and her subject matter. For Mitchell, it has never been more relevant or exciting to be a painter. In our modern day world, the interaction or dialogue between the artists’ hand and the art object is lacking. Everything is channeled through screens that provide endless choices but limited feeling. With a revival of painting, paint still continues to be a medium that holds gravitas.
Website and Graphic Design by Jana Hoang
Photograph by Alexander Sproule-Lagos
Monash University 2010-2013
Bachelor in Visual Arts (Majoring in Painting) & Bachelor in Arts (Majoring in English Literature)
SKIN – 2014 (Solo)
550 Swan St, Richmond, Melbourne Australia
CHRYSALIS – 2015 (Solo)
Parson School of Design, New York USA
HELM – 2015 (Solo)
Graham Geddes Project Space, Melbourne Australia
SWOON – 2016 (Solo)
Graham Geddes Project Space, Melbourne Australia
KIND – 2017 (Solo)
Metro Gallery, Armadale, Melbourne Australia
SPECIAL AWARDS & HONOURS
Selected Guest Speaker at Canadian International School, Tokyo, 2016
Selected Guest speaker at Star of the Sea College, Melbourne, 2016
Selected for Menzies Auction House, Catalogue and Sales, 2016
Selected Guest speaker at Parsons School of Design, NYC, 2014
Mentored by Max Gimblett, NYC
"Lani Mitchell is a superb young painter. An intuitive grasp of interior scale animates her ever so alive shapes. Larger than the body, these paintings demonstrate a grand ambition for the language of painting that is rarely seen in one so young. The doubling of the central shapes reminds us of Carl Jung's "Personality Number 1" and "Personality Number 2." Gesture is sure of itself and generates from deep sources. The very act of painting comes fully alive. The color-light is subtle and leads us into articulation of content. These are serious works."