Lily Stockman was born in Providence, RI, in 1982. She lives and works in Los Angeles and Yucca Valley, CA.
Drawing from nature and its grammar of symmetry, camouflage, and repetition, Stockman plumbs her familiar landscapes (Los Angeles, the Mojave Desert, a remote island in Maine) for her distinctive palette of glowing, tertiary colours– crackling orange, red earth, Holbein brown, and Fra Angelico blue. In a review of Stockman’s most recent exhibition, The New Yorker art critic Johanna Fateman describes the artist’s biomorphic compositions as “both diagrammatic and vaporous, a combination that calls to mind the spiritualist abstractions of the American modernist Agnes Pelton. Although they’re more lyrical, Stockman’s nested shapes also have the meticulous magic of Josef Albers’s squares.” Stockman’s paintings emerge from a wide range of references, from the prosaic — seed catalogues, topographic maps, birdsong, skating on a frozen pond –– to the archaic — Shaker gift drawings, mediaeval hocketing, portable Renaissance altarpieces, poetry metre.
After concentrating on painting at Harvard, where she also studied art history under Yve-Alain Bois, Stockman continued her studies in two important apprenticeships which shaped her lifelong pursuit of abstraction: Buddhist thangka painting at the Union of Mongolian Artists in Ulaanbaatar, and later, traditional Mughal miniature painting in Jaipur. From there she went on to pursue her MFA at New York University.
Stockman’s work is in the permanent collections of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C., Institute of Contemporary Art Miami, Phoenix Art Museum, and Orange County Museum of Art, where she was recently included in the California Biennial 2022: Pacific Gold.