Lucy McKenzie

Biography of Lucy McKenzie

A self-proclaimed jack of all trades, Scottish-born Lucy McKenzie dabbles in many different fields, from fashion design and stage sets to sculpture and installation art. With regard to her interdisciplinary and multifaceted practice the artist has stated that "probably the biggest influence on my painting is my dilettantism".


Lucy McKenzie was classically trained as a commercial decorative painter in Brussels, specializing in the art of trompe-l'oeil painting, which strongly influenced her eclectic style. A series of her paintings adopts the traditional quodlibet format—a fanciful form of illusionistic painting that depicts ribbons, playing cards, and scissors strewn across a writing desk—to investigate such hard-hitting themes as fascism and Nazism.


Lucy McKenzie finely balances her craft-based technique and background in decorative art with a keen intellectual sensitivity, deftly linking the disciplines of applied art and fine art in her environments and collaborative projects. Engaging with other media, from fiction writing to interior design, the artist's appropriation of objects and imagery already in existence forms a key part of her work.


Born in 1977 in Glasgow, Lucy McKenzie has had solo shows at such renowned institutions as the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam in 2013 and the Museum of Modern Art, New York in 2008. McKenzie was a guest professor at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf between 2011 and 2013. She also founded the interior design company Atelier E.B. together with designer Beca Lipscombe and illustrator Bernie Reid, both of whom are based in Edinburgh.

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