Lucy McKenzie (born 1977 in Glasgow, Scotland; lives and works in Brussels, Belgium).

Oil on canvas on wood supports; dimensions variable.


“In the spring of 2013, Lucy McKenzie made a trompe l’oeil installation after Villa Müller, a house in Prague designed in 1930 by the Austrian architectural polemicist Adolf Loos. Head-height, makeshift wooden cubes substitute Loos’s monolithic concrete pillars, while the architect’s signature green Cipollino marble cladding is paraphrased by McKenzie’s approximately rendered trompe l’oeil canvases, stapled and glued into place over the tentative structures. Painted volumes abut one another or else stand loosely grouped. […] Both arrangement and painting insinuate an opulent domestic space, rather than reconstructing it exactly. McKenzie’s roughness of delivery swiftly dispenses with the notion that her citation of Loos is one of cultural veneration or benevolent appropriation.”—Isla Leaver-Yap, “Lucy McKenzie: Manners,” Afterall 34 (Autumn/Winter 2013): 38-49.

“The installation is anchored by two monumental statements. On one side of the gallery, large paintings reproducing geometric patterns from the Alhambra palace in Granada dominate three walls, creating a dazzling juxtaposition of decorative forms. The opposite side of the gallery presents a large model of an interior of Villa Müller in Prague by architect Adolf Loos. Painted using the trompe-l’œil technique, the walls are treated with illusionistic marbled effect. McKenzie’s pairing of the archetypal Alhambra palace and Villa Müller invites us to consider monumental, closed structures as spaces where the world within is explicitly separated from the world beyond the walls. She explores how architecture can insidiously influence power relations and sexuality. In both Loos’s Modernist design and the Arabic architecture of the Alhambra, women can lead a confined, sheltered existence, and the female body is both hidden from the world and displayed to a select few.
—”Lucy McKenzie: Something They Have to Live With,” Stedelijk website, 2013.

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