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Lainey Racah

Lainey Racah is an artist and poet living and working in Los Angeles. She holds a BA in Art from UCLA and is currently an MFA candidate at the USC Roski School of Art. She works primarily in painting and sculpture, propelled by concepts of fragmentation, universal intimacies, containment, and contamination. Material and process are key aspects of the work. Racah has exhibited in spaces in Los Angeles and New York. Alongside her practice, she has worked on several collaborative curatorial and poetry projects, with the goals of connecting people through their work and finding creative, alternative ways to share and experience art and poetry.

Lainey Racah

Toxic Droplet, 2020
24 x 24 inches


Ever present in Lainey Racah’s paintings is the question of containment and the universal anxiety that comes with our fear of our personal containers being ruptured. Racah makes this anxiety evident in Toxic Droplet, which depicts a droplet (a tear? rain? a minute bit of spit?) in free fall. Contained within the two-dimensional frame of the canvas, one is aware the droplet is suspended indefinitely, but the anxiety still lingers. The visible strokes of her paintbrush imbues Racah’s droplet with movement, convincing us that at any moment it will crash to the ground, shattering its form into a million smaller ones, and with it spilling out of the frame towards us. The uneasiness evoked by the content of the painting is amplified when considering Racah’s process, which involves pouring her paint and letting time and the bounds of the canvas shape its form.

The importance of process for Racah is clear as she plays with her materials melting into one another, allowing sediment to form in some parts–– and not others–– through the use of tape and water. We are made anxious by the bleeding into one another of differing colors and shapes, but there is an undeniable sense of intimacy present in Racah’s work. In Toxic Droplet we see not only the convergence of suspension and movement, of containment and porosity, but we see the beauty in this paradoxical state too.

– Emma Christ


Emma Christ is an artist, art historian, and curator. She studied photography and written arts at Bard College for two years before transferring to Reed College, where she graduated with a B.A. in Art. Christ is currently an M.A candidate in the USC Roski Curatorial Practice and the Public Sphere Program. In her artistic and critical practice, Christ focuses on the uses and effects of the abject and the informed in contemporary art. She has worked with the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art in Portland, OR, and the Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia, PA, as well as smaller galleries in New York and Oregon. In 2018, she was the recipient of the Undergraduate Research Initiative grant from Reed College. She recently co-curated an exhibition entitled Blue on Blue on Blue for Nationale Gallery in Portland, OR. 

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