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Lesley Vance

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. 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's luminous watercolours investigate the same themes.

Lesley Vance (b. 1977, Milwaukee, WI, USA) lives and works in Los Angeles. Her work is held in major public collections: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas; Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Los Angeles County Museum, Los Angeles; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, among others.

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Selected Images

Selected media

  • Lesley Vance in conversation with Ilse Roosens

    On the occasion of Fired and painted (2023)

  • Slipstream

    Studio visit filmed by Gillian Garcia