Artist's Statement

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• Reviews



Excerpts from Recent Reviews

excerpt from Sarah Granett's Dime & Honey interview

July 18th, 2015

Laura Paulini's Dazzling Repetitions.


"...I'm at a point now where technically I know what I need. The chopstick I use is generally a bamboo chopstick. My tools are very important to me and almost become a bit fetishized. When I finish a piece, I wrap them and tie ribbons around them and things. They become very special to me. When you work with something for three months, it almost becomes an extension of your body..."

Click here to visit Dime & Honey's website and read the full interview.
(Photo of chopsticks by Sarah Granett.)

excerpt from Chris Rusak's San Francisco Arts Quarterly review of
at Eleanor Harwood Gallery

September 2012

Color, loud & quiet.

SHIMMER Installation View

"...At Eleanor Harwood Gallery, Laura Paulini shimmers with her hyper-chromatic, hyper-detailed compositions that simultaneously engross and puzzle. Paulini methodically orders small strips of acrylic paint, sheath by sheath, to create a ground of buzzing color upon which a free-form, unruly grid of greyscale dots float. With an extended stare, one begins to believe that she has employed endless values of each hue through a triumph of optical mix. Repeating that same exercise of gradation with grey, a true kaleidoscope becomes evident as our eyes shift over the geometrically planned schema of black and white, scanning the undulating colors that break through...Since Paulini uses the ends of chopsticks to create her grid, the imprecision of her tool aggregates a cacophony of irregularity that heightens the overall contrast driving her work. Still, there seems to be a natural order at play, much like the arrangement of iron shavings being driven by a magnet from underneath...through her infusion of risk, her intentional, greyed disruption of color, her works suggest that she's not trying to make sense of the chaos that surrounds us, but the burden of order...Harwood's sunlight drenched gallery is the perfect setting for Paulini's work, providing a wondrous illumination to these panels. Accelerated by satin varnish and colored versos that alter each work's shadow, the wholeness of each object takes on a softness similar to the fluorescent glow of a Spencer Finch installation. Visitors to the gallery should also take pause at the artist's pen and ink on paper drawings, each an oasis of rest for the eye after their jaunt through those abacuses of chroma..."

Click here to visit San Francisco Arts Quarterly's website and read the full review.

excerpt from Alan Bamberger's review of
at Eleanor Harwood Gallery

September 2012

Eleanor Harwood Gallery: Laura Paulini - Shimmer.

"Mindbogglingly meditatively painstaking paintings by Laura Paulini are composed of countless identically sized dots on top of innumerable regimented stripes, every last one of them applied with inconceivable accuracy. Special added bonus: the artworks gratify either close up or at a distance. The artist tells me that each painting takes months to produce. They're apparently being well received; the show is almost completely sold out as of opening night. Certainly worth a visit (don't forget your magnifying glass). "

Click on image to download a pdf of the entire article.

Kenneth Baker's San Francisco Chronicle art pick

Bay Area art picks, Sept. 27th, 2012

"In her painstaking work, this East Bay painter goes hand to hand with the challenge posed by digital imaging to viewers remaining sensitive to the human touch."

Click here to visit the San Francisco Chronicle's website and view the listing.

excerpt from DeWitt Cheng's Visual Art Source recommendation for
at Eleanor Harwood Gallery

September 14, 2012

Weekly Recommendations

SHIMMER Installation View

"...the geometric paintings of Laura Paulini, which infuse the razzle-dazzle of Op Art with a contemporary sensibility, are a welcome, decidedly "retinal" exception to the rule of conceptual complexities....If the colored grid suggests, perhaps, brightly colored book spines, and an infinite library, the dots suggest dominos, Braille dots, dot-matrix and LED lettering. Everything vibrates and seems to move; the silvery gray dots even seem to reflect, like metal..."

Click here to visit Visual Art Source's website and read the full review.

excerpt from Alex Bigman's 7X7SF recommendation for
at Eleanor Harwood Gallery

September 5, 2012

Four Gallery Openings to Catch this Fall

"...Taken as a whole, the impressive works seem to vibrate-the result of changes in the hue and value of the marks across several picture planes...Digital representations will certainly not do justice here, so plan to visit."

Click here to visit 7X7's website and read the full review.

excerpt from DeWitt Cheng's East Bay Express review of
"Residency Projects 1"
at Kala Art Institute Gallery

July 2010

End Products

Charlie Frequency

"Paulini's ink drawings and engravings alternate between the naturalistic and the geometric, but her abstract tempera paintings on panel suggest the phenomenal world, at least obliquely, with their intricate patterning and Braille-dot textures"

excerpt from Sara Mulloy's Milwaukee Journal review of
at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design

November 18, 2009

"Reconnection" at MIAD

"Laura Paulini's geometric paintings seem to impossibly combine both balance and chaos. She invokes Op Art and a deliriously meticulous, handmade pattern. Made with a succession of dots created with the tip of a chopstick, Paulini's paintings are studies in sensitive shifts of color. The works are a beautiful and intelligent combination of design and mark making."

Dog Fur

Click here to visit the Milwaukee Journal's website and read the full review.

excerpt from Jeanne Storck's Artweek review of
"Allegories of Control"
at Eleanor Harwood Gallery

June 2009

Allegories of Control: Jill Sylvia and Laura Paulini at Eleanor Harwood

"The pairing...brings together two masters of precision whose painstaking techniques turn the monotonous gesture into mesmerizing rite...Paulini peppers geometric armies of tiny egg tempera dots on panels - clusters of bits, then bytes that build into charged, electric abstractions. The viewer can't help but imagine these artists, bent over their work, enraptured by their meticulous, self-imposed task...The movement repeated over and over at first seems forced, but over time (and space) takes on the trance-like redundancy of a rosary...Paulini uses a chopstick as a paintbrush, elevating a kitchen utensil to artistic tool. Both artists submerge themselves in routine, offering up a meditation on what it means to show up each morning and repeat a task over a course of days, weeks or years. Constancy can breed bliss or boredom, but for these two artists the tendency is toward the ecstatic...Paulini works within a grid, but one of her own construction. She lays the linear framework of her canvas - simple crosses, starbursts or zigzags - that she then amplifies and thickens with single rows of dots that eventually grow into orderly phalanxes...Paulini's palette revels in color. Her pointillist constructions build slowly - lines of bright orange dots transition to softer yellows, jump to deep navy then fade to baby blue. At a distance, the alternating currents of color lose their pointed precision and give way to an Op Art glow reinforced by titles that hint of psychedelia - "Kaleidoscope," "Rock Steady," "Fire and Ice," "Peppermint Patty," "Dog Fur," "Sea Urchin" and "Ziggy"...Sylvia and PauliniÕs precision thrills with its control. The mark of Sylvia's knife or Paulini's paintbrush couldn't be more exact, but as viewers, our focus wanders and our eye seeks imperfection...Paulini focuses the viewer's sight line on pinpricks of color, but it wanders to the spaces in between. Control may be a slippery illusion, but in Sylvia and Paulini' s hands, it is at least a magnificent illusion."

Unfortunately, Artweek magazine ceased publishing just prior to the June 2009 issue going to press. This excerpt is courtesy of the author.

Visit to read the full text.

excerpt from Patricia Maloney's Critics' Pick review of
"Allegories of Control"
at Eleanor Harwood Gallery

May 2009

Laura Paulini and Jill Sylvia

"Paulini constructs...intuitively, applying uniform dots of egg tempera to panel, often working out from the center. She miscalculates points of convergence, encouraging seams to misalign and rhythms to fall apart...Tension is exacerbated by lacunae peppered throughout her compositions...The individual colors shimmer on close inspection..."

Artforum Review

Click on image to download a pdf of the entire article.

excerpt from Alan Bamberger's review of
"Allegories of Control"
at Eleanor Harwood Gallery

April 25th, 2009

Eleanor Harwood Gallery: Laura Paulini & Jill Sylvia - Allegories of Control

"...the levels of systematic precision and discipline necessary to produce the art in this show verge on incomprehensible..."

Detail of

Click here to download a pdf of the article.

excerpt from Cate McQuaid's Boston Globe review of "microwave: seven" at Judi Rotenberg Gallery

April 2009

Creating worlds of their own

"Laura Paulini's "From the Center of the Square #2" was made by dabbing dots on paper with a chopstick, resulting in shimmering moth-eaten rainbow quadrants."

Detail of

excerpt from Daniel Larkin's Art Cal: The Zine review of "The One and The Many" at Repetti Gallery

June 2008

On the Work of Laura Paulini

"Dot by dot, row by row, column by column, Paulini creates geometric Op Art patterns with a pointillist style. From a distance the Tron-like grid is clear but as a viewer approaches the field dissolves into a series of well placed dots. This game of distance and watching the image modulate with each step is one trademark of good pointillism that her works display with flying colors."

Detail of

Click here to visit Art Cals's website and read the full review.

excerpt from Chelsea Now review of "microwave: five" at Josee Bienvenu Gallery

September 2007

microwave: five at Josee Bienvenu Gallery

"This annual exhibition of works on paper by 20 international artists who observe various processes of fragmentation. The show also conveys a dialogue of generations between younger artists such as Xawery Wolski, Jesse Alpern, Adam Fowler, Laura Paulini, Ken Solomon, and Cameron Martin, and the likes of Yayoi Kusama, Richard Tuttle, Fred Sandback, Jacob El Hanani, Ray Johnson, and Tom Friedman."

Detail of

excerpt from Jordan Essoe's Artweek review of "Day Trips" at Takada Gallery

May 2006

Laura Paulini at Takada Gallery

"...a typical finished work has around 8,000 consecutive shallow penetration marks. On average, Paulini spends eight to twelve hours completing one of these pieces, working continuously for one sitting...The division of time, of one series of moments amputated from another series of moments, allows for claims of specific significance. All defined increments become potential anniversaries, setting precedents from future segmentation...Her work is about conservation of units, to propose time as efforts to contain it, and to invent a grammar for it. Intrinsic to her logic is that time indivisible is meaningless both quantitatively and qualitatively...As a principle part of her John Cageian score, Paulini attempts to make clean, straight rows of marks...Near the bottom margin of the picture, her inscriptions are obviously craned, compressed and delightfully bothered with organic honesty. There are not actual inaccuracies possible in work like this, or failures to articulate the predetermined...her works' tonality and weight are based exclusively on shadows, which are furtive and fugitive...different light distributions over the face of these paintings can be dramatically transforming or even brutally realigning, distorting or bullying to their countenance. No matter how stoic they are in their structure, they turn the authority of their form over to the higher court of ambiance..."

Detail of

excerpt from David Buuck's Artweek review of "The White Album" at the Kala Art Institute Gallery

May 2006

'The White Album' at Kala Art Institute

"Could there possibly be any more that can be done with the "white canvas"? Can such artistic purity, or minimalist restraint, still bring anything new to painting in the new century, now many years removed from earlier eras of such radical innovation? The six artists showcased in the recent exhibition at Kala Art Institute in Berkeley demonstrate that there is still a lot one can do with a limited palette. In fact, such restraints often challenge the artist to push herself in to new, subtle variations of technique and form...Laura Paulini also worked in series, showing nine works of white oil on panel, each roughly one foot square. Each piece was produced in a day, placing emphasis on quick, improvisatory marks and formal decisions, while staying within the restraints of size, materials and color. The individual pieces thus become records of the artist's workday, where the materials surfaces of brushstrokes, marks and gauges work to form patterns and textures that take on their own form in each new work. The thickness of Paulini's oils also allowed the surfaces to hold the light, to invite shadow and depth into the "white painting"...

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excerpt from Jordan Essoe's Artweek review of "Paper Cuts (again)" at the Fetterly Gallery

November 2005

'Paper Cuts (again)' at Fetterly Gallery

"...One artist who tracks precisely that tension between force and fault is Laura Paulini from Mills College, whose sophisticated talent clearly stands out...Paulini braces herself carefully between making marks by hand and removing her own rambling humanity from those maneuverings. The extent to which she delivers on the imperfections within her mechanized process is subtle, as she starves herself for a minor glimpse of the shaky irregularities that hands fight for as they endeavor to echo their own form. For Attention Deficit Restorer, Paulini imprinted a topograhical grid of small colorless divots into a sheet of watercolor paper, performing eight strikes a day using a chopsitck and a hammer. She tracked the zigzagging inconsistency of her eyeballed measurements with small, pale pencil strokes to try to keep herself more even, and the resulting pencil matrix appears both unconscious and scientific. 24 Hour Painting entailed Paulini painting an unbroken record of the migrating color and opacity of the sky for a continuous twenty-four-hour period. Again Paulini struck the paper percussively, this time with the tip of a loaded brush, and the carefully repeated, intricately typographic pattern runs horizontally for twenty-four separate color bands down the length of the paper..."

excerpt from Kenneth Baker's San Francisco Chronicle review of Gen Art "Emerge" at the Warfield Building

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Nice surprises at this year's 'Emerge' show for new talent

"Gen Art, the national organization that spotlights new talent in the arts and fashion, has scored a very mixed record with "Emerge," its annual San Francisco visual arts extravaganza. But this year's edition, the eighth, rocks...A surprise awaits around nearly every corner in "Emerge..." Except for Laura Paulini's obsessive, process-oriented abstractions and Jeong-Im Yi's spare, realistic pictures of scarred walls, "Emerge" represents new painting as a fairly conceptual affair...Not everything in "Emerge" hits the level of the work I've described, but the show as a whole leaves a visitor feeling light and optimistic. See it."

Detail of

Here is the full text of this review.

excerpt from Melissa E. Feldman's artUS review of "Cream" at Arts Benicia Gallery

October/November 2005


"...But it is labor-intensive, process-oriented work that emerges as a dominant trend in this selection, and perhaps reflects a mood swing in the Bay Area at large...In more monk-like fashion, Laura Paulini recorded the sunrise every morning last February by filling a small sheet of paper — one per day — with rows of dots in foggy colors that fade until the brush is replenished with paint..."

excerpt from Colin Berry's Artweek review of "Cream" at Arts Benicia Gallery

October 2005

'Cream: From the Top'

"...Two other artists demonstrated superhuman rigor. For The Sky at 6 a.m. Every Morning in February, 2005, Laura Paulini created twenty-eight matrices of acrylic and watercolor dots, which rippled in close-set waves down each sheet. Equal parts painting and meditation, the piece called forth a calm mindfulness that contrasted nicely with much of the rest of the show..."

excerpt from Lindsey Westbrook's Artweek review of "Bay Area Currents 2005" at the Oakland Art Gallery

July/August 2005

'Bay Area Currents' at the Oakland Art Gallery

"...The only artist in the show who works in an abstract mode is Laura Paulini, and even in her case, the titles of her paintings refer to the real-world instruments of their making: Chopsick, Dental Pick or Cardboard. Each canvas is the product of a single sitting. Using a pointed object, Paulini carefully and patiently stipples the surface of a swath of modified oil paint. While it might seem a bit obsessive at first, her process is much more an exercise in not-controlling, but rather allowing a rhythmic, methodical, unconscious process to take over the body..."

excerpt from Tony Cooper's San Francisco Chronicle article

Friday, October 17, 2003

Art for people's sake: paintings, sculptures do more than decorate in Martinez courthouse project

"...Neither did Laura Paulini, who used to do her work in Benicia and now has a studio at Oakland's Mills College. Paulini has a pair of charcoal drawings in the center's lobby. 'It's quite conceivable that 50 percent of people may not even notice," said Paulini. "(But even) if it touches only one person, it's worthwhile. I hope my work provides the viewer something to contemplate as they're going through their stressful situation...'"