Lauren Wy | AUTODESIRE: Volume 1

Opening: Saturday, Sep 18, 2021 11 am – 6 pm
Saturday, Sep 18 – Oct 30, 2021

1709 W. Chicago Ave
2nd. Floor
Chicago, IL 60622

Appointments are not necessary, masks are required

View the show on our website here

Western Exhibitions is thrilled to present a solo show by Los Angeles-based artist Lauren Wy in which she will debut Volume 1 of AUTODESIRE, a graphic novel machine made of process-based drawings —a body without organs­— assembled through capacious rhythms. The show will open during regular business hours on Saturday, September 18 from 11am to 6pm,  and will run through October 30, 2021. The gallery is open to the public, with no appointment necessary, Tuesday through Saturday, 11am to 6pm.

AUTODESIRE is a saga: a collection of 232 drawings that work together as a new manifesto on the darker iteration of figural abstraction. At the start of the pandemic, Wy found herself locked out of the studio and attempted a new format of making to meet the chaotic anxiety of the moment. While working serially and automatically in a format inspired by Louise Bourgeois’ Insomnia drawings, Wy’s AUTODESIRE became a vessel or a place or a setting like a hedge garden: a place designed for one to get lost.

AUTODESIRE is the story of a heroine who is making a journey through a road trip inferno. Her story is told through an algorithm that extracts memories from her long-dead corpse. AUTODESIRE drawings are made through the layering of ultra-saturated oil crayons with rich pigment-dyed folding panels. Within these environments, forms continually refuse to settle while they embrace multiplicity, alien sexuality, and Dionysian logic. Fragmented narratives—both real and imagined, autobiographical and stolen—come in and out of resolution throughout the panels. AUTODESIRE is the multiplicity of self as voiced by the alien femme in the bacchanal at the end of the world.

Each drawing in the series is displayed on two small handmade wood panels. These panels are hinged to open flat for display on the wall or may close shut like a book to be hidden on a bookshelf. The outside of each diptych/spread is flat white and minimal as the inside opens to reveal a drawing. The inspiration for this finishing is from “devotional” images from the early modern period: small wooden hinged panels, filled with images of Christs and Madonnas, made to be carried around.

Lauren Wy’s work was most recently shown in the Western Exhibitions Drawing Biennial in Chicago IL; ANTI, the 6th Athens Biennale in Greece; Kunstraum Walcheturm in Zurich, and at Apparatus Projects and Practise Gallery, both in Chicago and this fall will be included in Espressioni at Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea in Turin, Italy. Concurrent with her show here at Western Exhibitions, Wy will be showing Volume 2 of AUTODESIRE in a solo show at Dio Horia in Greece. Wy received her MFA from Northwestern University in 2020 and she lives and works in Los Angeles.


Image: Lauren Wy, AUTODESIRE, Volume 1, May 7, 2021