The FLAG Art Foundation is pleased to present the first solo exhibition in New York of work by Los Angeles-based artist Lesley Vance (b. 1977). This exhibition travels from Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Maine. Since her inclusion in the Whitney Museum of American Art’s 2010 Biennial Exhibition, Vance has enjoyed critical acclaim for pushing the limits of representation in her still life paintings and, more recently, her watercolors.
Consisting of 17 paintings and watercolors drawn from major private collections, Lesley Vance examines the artist’s evolution over the last three years. Keenly invested in revisiting the history of painting, Vance looks back to the still lives of seventeenth-century Spanish painters and the emergence of abstraction in the early twentieth century, and poses a counter-tradition, an abstraction premised on intimacy. As she has explained it, “There wasn’t much abstraction that felt warm and intimate.”
Creating arrangements of objects in her studio, Vance photographs these and then paints from the photographs, a mode of distancing herself and permitting her to reencounter the still life as “a group of forms.” In her paintings, she preserves the activity of light and shadow, but converts these into hardened pictorial elements in their own right, all of which coexist on a single compositional plane. As exhibition curator Diana Tuite notes, “Lesley produces images that assert themselves in so many experiential ways – materially, optically, spatially. At times these work in concert, reinforcing one another through equivalences between paint and form, for example, but at other times they tear apart and the space of the canvas and the space of the representation can each impede access to the other. This tension is what makes her paintings so entrancing.
Lesley Vance is organized by Bowdoin College Museum of Art.
About Lesley Vance
Born in 1977 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Vance received her BFA from the University of
Wisconsin in 2000 and her MFA from the California Institute of the Arts in 2003. She has participated in many international group exhibitions and, in 2012 alone, will be included in exhibitions at The Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College and The Huntington Art Collections. Lesley Vance is represented by the David Kordansky Gallery in Los Angeles.