Image: Lauren Luloff, Yard Sail, mixed media /  ©Lauren Luloff    ©Black & White Gallery/Project Space

Image: Lauren Luloff, Yard Sail, mixed media / ©Lauren Luloff  ©Black & White Gallery/Project Space


Many artists have responded to Black & White's outdoor project space by trying to soften its concrete architecture and mitigate its exposure to the elements, but it was a particular challenge for Lauren Luloff. The Bushwick, Brooklyn-based painter typically makes canvases piled with dense layers of oil-painted fabric. The artist had realized a few smaller installations at other points in her career, but never a large-scale outdoor project. "I wanted to do something that would combat the scale of the space and change its sense of light," said Luloff. Working partially in the studio and partially on site, her solution was to first paint the entire courtyard a shade lighter, and then, taking a cue from her layered paintings, drape the entire courtyard in brightly colored fabrics suspended from webs of yarn. The work broke the space down into tent-like compartments, tunnels of colored light, and as the title suggests, sail-like sheets that diffused the normally harsh light. Luloff also hung several of her paintings along the walls of the space, knowing that they would, like the fabric, inevitably be destroyed by the elements. "I wanted to respond to loss and the vulnerability of life," explained Luloff, a personal theme for the artist, whose grandfather had passed away while she was making the work. But the fabric's demise would be a far from melancholy destruction. Suspended throughout the installation, cloth bags filled with powdered tempera paint exploded during the first summer rainstorm, spraying Day-Glo colors over the gray concrete space. "I built a little joy into the inevitable death," said Luloff.