A painting of a woman wrapped up in a fluffy, pristinely white and clean duvet seems like nothing more than a relaxing scenario one could encounter early in the morning. But Elizabeth Livingston transforms such a sight from boring to intense, as every different texture in the painting is evident, from the duvet, to the pillow, to the window shutters that shine with sunlight, softly kissing the pale face of the woman. Livingston’s amazing, intriguing paintings will be on view in a gallery this month.
Livingston, who attended Yale and Boston University, has been painting since the early 2000s. Her incredibly detailed work leaves no stone unturned, from the variation in light glinting off sequins to the contrast of various printed fabrics against each other. Light also plays a significant role in her work, with many pieces featuring light as a catalyst that creates intense shadows or becomes a somewhat central point. Her suburban scenes manage to break free from their subject matter, with composition and viewpoint elevating the otherwise mundane.
Night Fell is both the exhibition’s name and a work of art. It’s an almost eerily quiet picture of a beautiful house, surrounded by trees and lit from within. There is a Hitchcock-ian sense of suspense about the image, as though you’re just waiting for the other shoe to drop and the blind to come off your eyes, revealing the true nature of what you’re looking at. The picture, devoid of any signs of life, intrigues with its stillness. Livingston is a master of her craft, imbuing silent works like this with layers of emotion.