LUCIE FONTAINE and LAUREL DOODY: elective cousins?
―a two left-hands story―
637 South Cloverdale Ave. Unit 7, Los Angeles CA 90036
By LF & LD
Laurel Doody and Lucie Fontaine* met for the first time in July 2015. Likely, also the only time, unless the future brings a comet, who knows? The French cousin had already spread her exhibitions for about eight years in many countries when the American cousin opened the door of a not commercial art gallery in April 2015: a collective collaboration between artist Fiona Connor and New Zealand birds who sometimes wore American feathers, and other scattered migrants involved in Los Angeles contemporary arts: artists, friends, writers, gallerists, curators. Span of life: one year.
The art gallery was named Laurel Doody after a woman Fiona Connor had met in Seattle when she was a child, same age as her mother. Laurel Doody as an art space shares many of that person attributes: she is a warm, great host, a little bit naughty, and always makes you feel you are the center of her world.
LF visited LD during a dinner held for Keaton Macon’s first solo exhibition: a small library of audio tapes each containing an hour of sounds for each day of the artist’s year. The table was improvised over some of the art shelves beneath the tablecloth, and a variety of chairs. The dinner was Italian style. The thick, large head of a ficus tree out of the window seemed to isolate the room from the blindness of common sense.
Inside, art and humans did not need to prove their minds right or wrong. There was only pleasure of being there with no competitive peaks: ideas, food and kindness passing through mouths and eyes; some drew portraits, Fiona pinned them on the wall. It sounds odd to call it generosity, but that’s what it was. Roots coming from there grow unexpected branches. There is sophistication in this story, and yet softness, plus a wish of movement and transformation, of sharing and crossing geographic and cultural boundaries.
To tie a knot of friendship, more than collaboration, almost a Maori sharing of breath, Lucie Fontaine offered to Laurel Doody the present of a double art piece from the first LF exhibition in Los Angeles in 2013: a small half pear and a small half apple: a unit that is the exquisite fruit of an artist’s tree, and the hazardous existence of any marriage.