Lesley Vanceís paintings exploit the full potential of contemporary painting. Her abstract compositions accentuate the material qualities of paint but at the same time demonstrate the mediumís ability to create fictional spaces. Vance begins by creating improvised arrangements of objects in her studio and photographing them. Working from these images, with brush and palette knife, she works wet-on-wet creating a kind of sculptural space where paint sits upon paint in one uniform layer. Vance is primarily concerned with colour, texture, and light, but some elements of the imagery she begins with are often preserved. They are included in an intuitive play of shapes, colours and movements that seem to fold in and out of each other. A whole new pictorial space is created, which the artist describes as Ďa tactile and at the same time completely fictional abstraction, that pushes and pulls and complicates spatial norms.í
Lesley Vance uses her still lives as a departure point for formal and spatial experiments. Above all, her work is a contemplative practice that is contemporary and intimate. Similar experiments with texture and colour, as well as with volumes and spatial effects, can be found on a different scale in her watercolours. These works serve as close compositional relatives to Vanceís oil paintings. Both the paintings and watercolours intentionally avoid the world of objects in order to tell their own story: how paint is still able to construct a world.
Lesley Vance recently participated in the group exhibition Tableaux in the Magasin-Centre National díArt Contemporain, Grenoble, France; Everything You Can Imagine is Real at Xavier Hufkens and the 2010 Biennial in the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY. Her work was also shown in the exhibition PPP: Public Private Paintings in Mu.ZEE, Ostend and in Triumphant Carrot: The Persistence of Still Life in the Vancouver Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver, BC. In 2012, Lesley Vance had her first museum solo exhibition at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, ME. Also upcoming in 2012 is the exhibition Lesley Vance and Ricky Swallow in The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens, San Marino, CA and a solo exhibition in The FLAG Art Foundation, New York, NY. In 2013 she will participate in the group exhibition Painter Painter in the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN. In the US, Lesley Vance is represented by the David Kordansky Gallery.
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