Seasons LA is proud to present And then they heard the wind, a solo exhibition by Los Angeles-based artist Lanise Howard.
A foreign gust blows through the skies of Lanise Howard’s portraits, winds of change that penetrate their surroundings, interrupting their natural space of possibility. In the parallel world of her paintings, this fast-approaching wind has joined Howard’s cast of characters, approaching from the skies, and flowing into the lands. The wind has its own presence, a foreboding breeze seemingly ready to strip the land, or to plague this population with a new form of subjugation. It will soon be a force of colonization, changing these native landscapes irrevocably.
Howard’s figures—her chameleons—stand proudly in their surreal landscapes, a realm located in a future past. These individuals command their ethereal lands, a place free from the dark historical realities of our own world. But in her new works, a sense of unease begins to show on their faces as a tempest rises in the distance. They can hear whisperings of change, some unfamiliar transmutation imposed from afar. On their horizon is a story of migration, this is all but a preface to the deluge to come.
In And then they heard the wind, Howard draws on histories of migration, inspired by narratives of pre-colonial native societies and the exoduses of tribes and communities. There is an anxiety in the unknown, but also a sense of hope, both in survival and in new beginnings. Our story at times intersects with theirs in dreams, forgotten memories, and past lives. There is a sense of restlessness that has blanketed our zones of comfort. Howard’s characters are alert and curious, considering their responses to this disturbance. We, with them, can be confident of their ability to whether the storm ahead. With their departure and migration to new places comes a neoteric set of challenges, and yet inevitably the very sameness they set out to escape.
Lanise Howard (b. 1993, USA) lives and works in Los Angeles. Howard graduated with a BFA from the Otis College of Arts and Design in 2020 and was selected as a finalist of the AXA Art Prize in 2019. Recent exhibitions include Power of Femininity, Kutlesa Gallery, Goldau, Switzerland (2022); In an Age of A(Simulation), Mindy Solomon Gallery, Miami, Florida (2021, solo); Chameleon; To Be of an Ambiguous Origin, Monti 8 Gallery, Latina, Italy (2021, solo); Breakfast in America, Seasons LA, Los Angeles, California (2021); Varsity Blues, Allouche Gallery, New York (2021); Show me the Signs, Blum and Poe, Los Angeles, California (2020); and Made in California, Brea Art Museum Gallery, Brea, California (2019).