Isla Leaver-Yap writes about the work of Lucy McKenzie, whose paintings are currently on view in the exhibition Painting Now: Five Contemporary Artists at Tate Britain, London (through February 9, 2014).
"Largely comprising portraits, still lifes, scaled architectural elevations and installations," Leaver-Yap notes, "McKenzie’s body of work could be formally characterised as representational painting: the expressions of an agent who has elected to speak on behalf of another party. Permission is irrelevant; technique is key. Within representational painting, seduction is most easily elicited through verisimilitude — painting tries to persuade us to perceive illusion as reality."
In an ongoing series of works, Leaver-Yap continues, McKenzie's utilizes the form of "the quodlibet — a type of trompe l’oeil involving tableaux of small and intimate objects, and that takes its name from the Latin for ‘that which pleases’... the quodlibet is a combination of consummate painterly skill and visual punning."