The work of Lucy McKenzie often crosses from fine art into other fields and her recent painting installations combine conceptual concerns with those of craft, heritage and commercial art. This work is informed by studies at a Brussels school for specialist decorative painting, Ecole Van Der Kelen-Logelain, which espouses an approach rooted in the 19th century artisan tradition. The new works that Lucy McKenzie presents under the title “Slender Means” at Galerie Daniel Buchholz embodies this dual purpose; all potentially have several uses.
In the novella of 1963 “The Girls of Slender Means”, the Scottish writer Muriel Sparks documents the lives of the respectable yet impecunious young women living in The May of Teck Club situated in post war Kensington. The club occupies a traditional town house, now divided into dormitories and small private rooms to house the single women. Referencing this spare, precise book, Lucy McKenzie creates four paintings to fit exactly in the exhibition space of Galerie Daniel Buchholz at Neven-DuMont-Strasse. This environment conveys the process by which a bourgeois home is transformed when its original inhabitants, large wealthy families, are supplanted by modern dwellers, and ultimately abandoned completely. While producing this work in her studio in Brussels Lucy McKenzie used part of the paintings as a set for the upcoming film “Le Coin du Diable” by Belgian artist and film maker Lucile Desamory.