Mimi Lauter’s emotionally charged and vividly colored universe is made up predominantly of oil and soft pastels on paper. Her works are comprised of expansive fields of saturated color which she heavily layers and etches into creating swirling textures that assemble abstracted narratives. Lauter builds her imagery through diverse sources of mythology, literature, the social and political atmosphere, and her personal memory and dreams; all as a means to express the relationship between image and existence. Her paintings reveal influences from diverse 19th and early 20th century painting ranging from Odilon Redon, Pierre Bonnard, Jean-Édouard Vuillard, Hilma Af Klint, Leonora Carrington, and the rich colors of Mexican folkloric imagery. 


Lauter refers to her garden as an “ongoing, constantly changing epic mural,” which serves as inspiration for her compositions and colors. It is meticulously planned and attuned to each coming season so as to have a social atmosphere constant rotation of color and vegetation. Her home overlooks the garden which thickly surrounds the studio, enveloping her in a rich and constructed natural world at all times. Lauter’s use of pastels calls to mind the act of sculpting clay, the malleability of the medium engenders a sense of physicality and intuition as she carves through dense layers of pastel to create passages of expressive impasto. Her dense surfaces are achieved through a process of layering where she covers the entire paper with oil pastel, creating a saturated and tactile ground upon which she can draw and incise. The process of building up and then digging down into the surface is akin to her act of gardening, a constant and transcendental source of inspiration in her work.  


Somewhere between landscape and still-life, her episodic works explore the inherent tension between these two historically charged styles of painting. For Lauter, the theatrical structure of a still-life painting is often a metaphor for mortality while a landscape represents the potential of life- something she realized while meandering through the landscape of her own garden in search of new growth and thinking about the path or composition that guides a viewer through landscape painting. Similar to her approach of suspending the viewer between these two opposing structures of painting, she employs this strategy in her representation of the external and the internal, the epic and the personal, the expansive and the most intimate detail. 

Mimi Lauter (b. 1982, San Francisco, USA) lives and works in Los Angeles.

Lauter received her B.A. at the University of California, Los Angeles, and her MFA from University of California, Irvine. In 2012, Lauter was included in the first Los Angeles Biennial “Made in L.A.” organized by the Hammer Museum in collaboration with LAXART. In 2021, Lauter participated in Prospect.5 New Orleans, LA. Her work is represented in collections at the Frederick R Weisman Art Foundation, Los Angeles; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; He Art Museum, Guangdong Province, China; Henry Art Gallery at University of Washington, Seattle; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles; Marciano Art Foundation, Los Angeles; Nixon Collection, London; Rachofsky Foundation, Dallas; Santa Barbara Museum, Santa Barbara; Tanoto Foundation, Singapore; and the Wagner Foundation, Boston. 

Her solo exhibitions include Ruach, White Cube Bermondsey, London (2023); Tif Sigfrids, Athens, GA (2022); Consequential Landscapes, Mendes Wood DM, Brussels (2021); Symphony No. 1, Blum & Poe, New York (2020); Après nous le déluge, Mendes Wood DM, São Paulo (2019);Sensus Oxynation, Blum & Poe, Los Angeles (2018); Miniatures, Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago (2018); Devotional FlowersDerek Eller Gallery, New York (2018); Interiors, Tif Sigfrids, Los Angeles (2017); and A Carnival of Musical Echo, Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago (2015).  

Selected Artworks

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