Lauren Clay Exhibition – Trellis

The Anderson – VCUarts

Artist Lecture 10.1.20, 12:30PM – Zoom, ICA (registration link below)

Physically Distanced Reception 10.2.20, 4:00–7:00PM

The Anderson (VCUarts), in collaboration with the VCUarts Department of Painting + Printmaking, is pleased to present Trellis, an exhibition of new works by artist Lauren Clay. In Trellis, Clay—a VCUarts Painting + Printmaking alumni—continues her investigation into the psychology of architecture, color and space. Immersive, wall-sized murals suggest an ancient, monochromatic colonnade. These murals are punctuated by colorful, sculptural wall works which echo and foreshorten the depicted architecture and complicate the perception of space, both real and illusory, within the room.


“My sculptures and installations exist in a dream-like world, constructed from fragments of the unconscious mind and hallucinatory experiences. Although physically disorienting, an alternate system of orientation emerges from architectural cues, art historical fragments, and embedded symbols of doorways, windows and the implied presence of an unknown other. 

This world draws from references as varied as Modernist painting, Italian Baroque architecture, 1970s utopian design and ancient Greek sculpture.

The sculptures are rough, hand-made constructions made from paper pulp, epoxy clay, modeling paste and plaster and finished with oil paint. The relief sculptures fabricate space through forced-perspective carvings of doorways, stairs and windows. Ornate latticework is embedded in narrow windows, while rolling repeating limbs symmetrically twist inward and outward around twin doorways.

The sculptures  exist within an installation of digitally printed wallpaper which transforms the room of the gallery into a DeChirico-esque landscape which warps and manipulates the otherwise flat walls.


The exhibition will be on view Oct. 2—Oct. 28, Tuesday–Friday, 12:00–6:00 and Saturday 12:00–5:00. Visitors must wear appropriate face coverings and observe physical distancing measures. 


Lauren will be present for a reception on Oct. 2, 4:00–7:00PM. Registration is not required. Face masks and physical distancing are required and building occupancy numbers will be monitored.


The VCU Institute for Contemporary Art will host an artist lecture on Oct. 1 at 12:30PM. To register for the lecture please use the link below:


Lauren Clay (b. 1982, Brookhaven, Mississippi) lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. She received her MFA in Painting from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2007, and BFA in Painting from Savannah College of Art in 2004.

Recent solo exhibitions include “Tread, Riser, Passage” with Bosse & Baum gallery, London and “While Sleeping, Watch” at Cris Worley Fine Arts, Dallas. In 2019 she created a collaborative installation with Peter Halley titled “QUBE” which was exhibited at Galerija Kula in Split, Croatia. In 2019 Clay’s site-specific installation Cenotaph was included in Peter Halley’s solo project, “Heterotopia I” in Venice, Italy, in conjunction with the Venice Biennale.

Her work has been reviewed in Art Forum, The New York Times, Bomb Magazine, Artsy, and the Washington Post. Clay was a 2019 recipient of the Pollock Krasner Foundation Grant, and a 2020 recipient of a grant from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts.

Her editioned artist book, Subtle Body, is included in the artist book collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art, The National Museum of Art, and The Brooklyn Museum of Art.