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'Hidden Worlds: Paintings by Page Laughlin' at Dishman Art Museum

The Dishman Art Museum at Lamar University will exhibit “Hidden Worlds: Paintings by Page Laughlin" Sept. 23 through Oct. 21. The North Carolina artist’s paintings have received acclaim for their rich, vibrant colors and bold exploration of the interior landscape of people’s lives.

“Hidden Worlds” features 15 paintings based on photographs of luxury living spaces from magazines such as Architectural Digest and House Beautiful. Laughlin uses these images to show the profound connection people have to their homes and how their homes reflect how they show themselves to the world.

“In the subject matter of my paintings, things are often not quite what they seem: lovely interiors, on closer consideration, lead to disquieting seduction; wallpaper details, luscious statuary, give way to recognition of issues of power and subjugation,” said Laughlin. “I try to make work that has beauty to attract and complexity to sustain observation.”

“What I love about Page’s works and this series in particular is they are truly luxurious explorations of color and form, but, at the same time, they are also very thought-provoking, intellectual exercises,” said Jessica Dandona, art historian and director of the Dishman Art Museum. “Page looks at images from ‘luxury shelter magazines,’ and recreates those interiors in paint. She creates works that function on several levels. On one level, the richly crafted surface of the oil painting evokes that same world of glittering artifice and expensive tastes from the magazines. On the other hand, the very fact of replicating what is believed to be something unique and precious shows its inherently commodified nature.”

Laughlin used oil on Mylar to create the paintings of “Hidden Worlds.” Her choice of medium reflects the meaning she seeks to convey with her works.

“The fact that she paints on Mylar, which is insubstantial and inexpensive material undercuts the idea of painting itself as a luxury product,” Dandona said. “The paintings have to be treated with exquisite care. They are at once precious and ephemeral.”

Dandona also said that the works are a “joy to behold. They are simply stunning and richly colorful.” She hopes many members of the Southeast Texas community will view the show because “I think it will encourage people to see the spaces in which they live in a new way and to reflect upon the meaning created by the objects with which we surround ourselves.”

Light refreshments will be served at the reception on Friday, Sept. 23, 7 – 9 p.m. Admission to the reception and the exhibition is free.

The Dishman Art Museum is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and is located at 1030 E. Lavaca, Beaumont, Texas. Free museum-dedicated parking is available in front of the Dishman during museum hours. Call (409) 880-8959 for more information or visit lamar.edu/dishman.