de boer (Los Angeles) is pleased to present Cotillion, the first solo exhibition in Los Angeles by New York based artist Marika Thunder. The exhibition consists of new figurative paintings continuing the artist’s practice of working with source and reference material from the artist’s own childhood.
In this exhibition, Thunder presents oil paintings of young women performing for a Cotillion dress rehearsal. Working from photographs taken by the artist’s mother, Thunder reproduces these images with a printer that has an ink cartridge missing. The spectrum of color then depicted by Thunder appears familiar yet abstract. In one painting, a performer is escorted across the stage in headdress and shorts, with a big American flag in the background projected on a jumbo screen. In another painting, a performer, painted in electric blue, does a full curtsy at the front of the stage.
The formal relationship between color and form in these paintings suggest the question: What is familiar about etiquette classes that end with a final dinner-dance where proud parents gather to watch the participants show off their table manners, conversation etiquette, and dance moves? In Thunders paintings, this narrative suggests a distant and alienated feeling.
This new series of paintings extends Thunder’s pursuit of revisiting experiences from the artist’s own adolescence. By portraying performers, and even herself as a performer, Thunder carefully creates paintings that are slightly out of focus, a reduced realism that explores the profound experience of identity formation.
Marika Thunder lives and works in New York, NY. Thunder’s paintings are often painted from photographs or collages from her own childhood. Invoking nostalgia with the twist of a critical lens. Thunder’s practice as a whole operates in a dance-like state between the fondness of a memory and critique. Her work has been exhibited at venues such as; Nino Mier, Los Angeles, CA; 56 Henry, New York; NY; Public Access, New York, NY; de boer, Los Angeles, CA and Half Gallery, NY.