REVIEWS


The Lace Show, group show, Los Angeles,
The Reader, Feb. 1985, Colin Gardner:


"Dianne Lawrence and Janet Jenkins both known for gestural figures depicted in bright fauve colors, and Jim Shaw, known for his use of black and white patchwork quilt skin textures and eyes, all present strong, representative examples of their work."


Piezo Electric, group show, New York,
Arts magazine, March 1985, Colin Gardner:


"Both Geoffrey Hales and Dianne Lawrence create works of psychological resonance yet subjugate inherent drama to a veneer of playful, "faux-naif" distancing"


Attack Gallery, one person show, Los Angeles
LA Weekly, Peter Clothier, June 1985


"The strongest of her paintings, such as Mars and Venus, draw on myth as well as intimate personal imagery. Gutsy juxtapositions of color and heavily textured surfaces of paint explore correspondences between outer darkness and internal light, the sensual and spiritual realms."


Performance piece, "Fertile Eyes" Malibu Hills,
High Performance, Issue # 35, Linda Burnham, 1986


"For ‘Fertile Eyes’ Dianne Lawrence cannily set her stage with the Malibu Hills, the Pacific Ocean and the full moon. A small audience limited to 50 had to go to some lengths to get there…hours of driving and hiking were involved and we had to pack in our dinner. Once situated on a rocky perch above a canyon verdant with sagebrush and manzanita I was glad I hadn’t let another summer solstice go by
without getting outdoors to enjoy it.

The show began almost imperceptibly somewhere between the wine and the cheese and the warm offshore breeze but was definitely underway with the use of a full red moon over a distant hill.

When performers finally appeared at least an hour after our arrival on the spot, they struggled up the bluff in front of us to sing, dance and read poetry on a small dirt "stage" with the ocean for a backdrop. Lawrence used only the most rudimentary of technologies during this program of episodes about men and women, their loves and battles. Lighting was by the moon and hand-held flashlights, sound was by ghetto-blaster.

Lawrence is a painter who has relied heavily on mythical and dream imagery for spiritual insights into human love. Her everyday conversation is sprinkled with references to psychology, philosophy and occult knowledge. On stage she has a powerful charisma, an effortless delivery and a rafter shaking deep singing voice. Her training in acting stand her in good stead but it is her concentration on the inner meaning of desire and heartbreak that makes her written work so strong. She finds answers to our prayers for peace and understanding in a union between male and female, in a blending of our unique strengths as two halves of a whole.

For this piece she drew on folk music, blues, Greek drama, TV sitcom and poetry…humorous, sexy and profound. Of particular note was a moment following a mask dance depicting a terrible struggle between male and female figures when Lawrence rose from the bluff in the dark holding above her head a formed painting of a goddess figure. Wavering colored lights made the figure seem to shudder and gleam against the blue black sky and her entrance, as if between the portals of male and female understanding brought gasps and tears from some of the people around me.

Lawrence’s demand for male-female unity whether sobbed in a blues song, joked about in a shadow play between Mars and Venus, vamped in flirtatious poems or elevated to myth in ancient mask-dancing were touching and effectively presented. The vaudeville poetry reading format was not formally challenging but she had the genius to employ Mother Earth and Sister Moon as scene masters."
 
  ©2004 Dianne V. Lawrence