The University of Hartford’s Joseloff Gallery at the Hartford Art School announces the opening of Leslie Wayne: Recent Work, a traveling exhibition of lively, textural, and colorfully layered oil paintings organized by the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston School of the Arts in Charleston, SC. Combining the sensitivities of both sculpture and painting, the work of Leslie Wayne pushes the boundaries of her medium, toying with the definitions of painting, sculpture, and even topography.
The exhibition will be on display in the Joseloff Gallery from Aug. 30 through Oct. 9. An artist lecture and public opening reception will be held on Thursday, Sept. 8. Wayne will present a public lecture in the Koopman Commons at the Hartford Art School from 3 to 4:30 p.m. The public opening reception will take place in the gallery from 5 to 7 p.m.
Leslie Wayne: Recent Work was curated by Mark Sloan, director and senior curator at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, where the exhibition debuted in January 2011. The work subsequently traveled to the Visual Arts Center in Richmond, Va. before coming to the Joseloff Gallery.
“Rather than paint pictures of landscapes, Wayne chooses to capture the corporeal essence of nature by offering an analogous experience to being in the natural world,” states Sloan. “Alluding to compression, subduction, and shifting of tectonic plates, Wayne packs narrative passages into the interstices of each successive layer of paint, testing the range of Richard Serra’s famous ‘Verb List’ by pulling, scraping, folding, cutting and collaging her material like clay.”
Leslie Wayne: Recent Work represents the past five years of Wayne’s vibrant, sculptural oil paintings. The works range in size from the expansive (14-feet long) to the intimate (10 x 13 inches). Wayne’s large works are inspired by landscape and geology and are a secular contemporary and abstract response to 19th century Romantic Landscape painting.
In addition to taking cues from landscape, Wayne draws inspiration from myriad sources, from fashion and fabric to fractals and chaos theory, but rarely in anticipation of a specific work.
“I don’t set out to make a painting about a particular subject,” says Wayne. “I am a process painter in that respect in that I allow the phenomenology of the material to lead the way. I may begin with a set of conditions, like a shaped panel for example, but then I take my cues from the working process. I think of it as a conversation between material memory and morphogenesis – the repetition of a process that leads to an intended result and the will of the material to do what it will do.”
To accompany the exhibition and give insight into Wayne’s process, the Halsey Institute has commissioned a film by John Reynolds and produced a full-color catalogue with an essay by Ron Platt, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Birmingham Museum of Art. The catalogue will be for sale at the opening reception and during the exhibition.
About the Artist
Leslie Wayne was born in 1953 in Germany, but grew up in Southern California where she originally studied traditional oil painting and had a strong connection to the Western landscapes tradition. She began her undergraduate studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara with a major in painting, and received her BFA in sculpture from Parsons School of Design. After her move to New York City in 1982, she abandoned observational painting and developed her signature style of intuitive painting, exemplified by this exhibition.
Wayne has presented her work in numerous solo and group exhibitions including the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; Peace Tower/Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY (both 2006); Bildmuseet, Umea, Sweden; Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, Fla. (both 2003); The Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami, (2001); Santa Monica Museum of Art, Santa Monica, Calif. (2000); and The Continuous Painting Wall, Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham, Ala. (1999). She was the recipient of a 2006 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Painting and a past grant recipient from both the Pollock-Krasner Foundation and the Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation.
About Joseloff Gallery
The Joseloff Gallery is located in the Harry Jack Gray Center on the campus of the University of Hartford. The mission of the Joseloff Gallery is to enhance the studio programs at the University of Hartford through the creation of exhibitions focusing on a wide range of contemporary art in all media. In doing so, its programs utilize the entire university community and foster a greater understanding and enjoyment of contemporary art throughout the region. The Joseloff Gallery exhibition program is designed to explore concepts, issues, and directions in contemporary art, while reinforcing the power, richness and diversity of visual language. Exhibitions are funded through the Kohn/Joseloff Foundation, private endowments, and corporate, government, and individual contributions. For more information about the gallery, please visit the Joseloff Gallery web site.