|Florence Pierce, 2003
Florence Pierce was, at nineteen, the youngest member and one of only two women in the Transcendental Painting Group in Taos in the late 1930s and early 40s. Now in her eighties, she has had a distinguished career, moving from oil painting into various other media, including sculpture. For the past thirty years, she has worked with different forms of poured resin. Her present work, resin relief, involves resin poured onto Plexiglas mirror. A comprehensive view of her career and work can be seen in Lucy Lippard's In Touch with Light, published in 1998.
Light appears to flow outward from a Pierce resin relief, an effect that is actually literally true, since whatever light shines on the painting is reflected back toward the viewer by the mirrored background onto which the resin has been poured. The resin itself is translucent, and each resin relief is a unique blend of pigment with various types of fiberglass and milled resins. Texture and incident are provided by a technique involving the pressing of vellum paper onto the resin at different stages in the process. The result is a square (16"x16" or 24"x24") that at first appears to contain a single color, but which shifts with the shifting of light as one views it from different angles. Colors range from deep reds and blues to the most ethereal of pastels. Lucy Lippard notes that "the thinner resin at the edges provides changing 'frames' of paler chromatic light."
Pierce says of her work, "It is concerned with turning inward and becoming aware of the mysterious and the ineffable, of timelessness and luminosity." Each piece represents a different face of the ineffable, giving the viewer a unique and immediate experience of mystery and timelessness. Through what Pierce has called her "frank pursuit of beauty", culminating in these intensely sensual, luminous works, the viewer is able to approach one of Pierce's own stated goals, "stilling and freeing the mind."