Lesley Vance is an abstract painter whose visual language is rooted in her early engagement with still-life painting. Seeking to move beyond the boundaries of representation, Vance departs from entirely invented and improvised forms, which she brings towards the allusion of a physical reality. Working wet-on-wet in concentrated bursts of activity, the artist follows her intuition and allows form and colour to develop their own individual trajectories. Nothing is predetermined. As a painting coalesces, the artist will slow her pace in response to its singular and immutable logic. These variations in tempo, together with the dynamism of her swirling and looping forms, brings a unique tensile strength to her work. A consummate colourist, Vance’s paintings also bear witness to her mastery of nuance and contrast, as well as her interest in colour as a physical and material entity. The artist will often reduce the hues in a work in order to fully explore tonal range, thereby augmenting spatial depth and intensifying the clarity of her compositions. In the same vein, she will introduce intriguing surface details, such as ribbons of dark striated paint. This visual acuity results in a play with the viewer’s perception of space and depth, deconstructing a straightforward analysis of the painting’s creative genesis. Vance is also known for her luminous watercolours that investigate the same themes.
Lesley Vance (b. 1977, Milwaukee, WI) lives and works in Los Angeles. Solo and duo exhibitions include The Huntington Library, San Marino, CA (2013); FLAG Art Foundation, New York (2012); and Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick (2012). Notable group exhibitions include The Campaign for Art, SFMOMA, San Francisco (2016); Conversations in and Around Abstract Paintings, LACMA, Los Angeles (2015); Don’t shoot the Painter, curated by Francesco Bonami, Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Milan (2015); Painter Painter, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2013) and the 2010 Whitney Biennale, Whitney Museum, NY.