Glen Helfand's Essay for the Mills College MFA Exhibition Catalog
Time is but one essence of Laura Paulini's art. In the richly textured works she exhibits here, she spins accumulations of marks into gorgeously mesmerizing patterns, moments that she compounds into something so much more. She relies on a combination of trust in her materials, in a structuring parameter of time, and in a John Cage-like respect for chance.
Like a classic work of conceptual art, Paulini sets down instructions for her series. Each must be created in a single day, or a variant thereof, in which she imprints a mark over the surface. Acting almost like a scribe, she uses a paint covered panel as her tablet, and employs a variety of ordinary implements chopstick, dental pick, drinking straw, rose stem to create marks upon it, line by line. The smaller the tool, the more time is rhythmically encoded in the surface.
A vast, wonderfully subtle range can be found in her white squares, but the integrity of each piece is located more directly in their making. There is something meditative about her process - the tool functions something like a mantra, a thing repeated to a point of purity and abstraction. The artist's commitment to the practice translates into waves of texture that definitely communicate a peace of mind. These paintings are like moments hours in the making of respite in an over-stimulated world.
Glen Helfand, 2005
Here is the online version of this catalog.