Artist Spotlight: Laurie Reid

EuropeNow Can you tell us a little about yourself and about the kind of art you create?

Laurie Reid I am primarily a painter. I used to make only watercolors—often large-scale, almost monumental abstract watercolors. In the last 5-6 years I have become interested in working in oil paint and sometimes ceramics. The work is generally quite abstract and fluctuates between being very minimal to excessively maximal.  I like extremes, perhaps.

EuropeNow What about your primary medium do you like best?

Laurie Reid I like the way that painting feels like writing. “Writing” with paint suddenly becomes expansive and expressive in a way that’s distinctly different from what we consider traditional writing. I like that the possibilities of what one can do with paint feel limitless.  One can create things that may or may not exist. This sense of possibility and ambiguity is wonderful.

My work is fairly intuitive and material driven. I usually do not have a pre-conceived idea of where I am going but rather enjoy being taken somewhere I couldn’t have imagined beforehand. I enjoy moments when I go from feeling confounded by something to accepting of that something to enamored of it. I enjoy all of the considerations that go into installing work and like to make work that is as site sensitive as possible.

EuropeNow Was there a single moment when you decided to pursue your passion for art?

Laurie Reid I have always made things. Whether it was what we normally call art or some other kind of transformation/manifestation, I think it’s what provided me important evidence of my existence as a child/teen. As an adult I decided to give the pursuit of art making a more prominent place in my life after having a different kind of job that left me aching for a way of being in the world that was more dynamic and less predictable.

EuropeNow What aspects of art do you find to be the most powerful?

Laurie Reid I find those moments when the unconscious becomes conscious, or the latent becomes visible and palpable very exciting. I’m turned on by the unexpected, especially when I suddenly realize it’s something that’s actually been with me all along. Also, It’s exhilarating to see art that involves the artist taking a big risk of some sort—putting themself out in the world in a vulnerable and honest way.  Feeling someone else’s humanity allows me to feel my own.

EuropeNow Do you have a favorite non-art activity that connects you to your art in a meaningful way?

Laurie Reid All activity connects me to my art in a meaningful way.  I believe the very essence of the work is the manifestation of these infinite connections however quotidian or remarkable.  It’s all there, in play, all the time.



Laurie Reid lives and works in Berkeley and Oakland, CA. She teaches at the California College of the Arts and the San Francisco Art Institute and has had recent shows at Morgan Lehman Gallery, NY and Et Al. in San Francisco. Reid’s work is held in the permanent collections of SFMOMA, the De Young Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Modern Art, NY and the National Gallery among others.

Lillian Klein is the programs coordinator at the Council for European Studies. She holds a B.A. in literature with a minor in religious studies from Barnard College, as well as an M.F.A. in fiction from Columbia University. Previously, Lillian assisted in the Memberships, Programs, and Awards Department at PEN America Center. She also served as a teaching fellow at Paris American Academy’s writing program for two consecutive summers.

Christie’s Education (CE) New York has entered into a collaborative partnership with the Council for European Studies at Columbia University (CES). A first joint project is a forthcoming online auction, the proceeds of which will be used to create a new scholarship to be awarded to a CES-CE applicant. The featured work in this article has been donated to the online auction, which will take place in December 2017.


Published on September 7, 2017.


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