This formative interest in environmental shifts finds traces in Leslie Shows’ subject, says Ed Tang, Head of First Open sales and a specialist within the Post-War & Contemporary Art department in New York. ‘Fusing abstraction with figurative elements, the artist’s large-scale, multi-media works investigate themes including the passage of time, and the process of growth and decay in the natural world.’
But it is in Shows’ materials that this geological interest finds its most literal interpretation: ‘Split Array, the artist’s 2011 show at San Francisco’s Haines Gallery, featured oversized paintings produced on reflective aluminum panel, inspired by pyrite, or fool’s gold,’ comments Tang. As a manifestation of her geological interests as much as a demonstration of her mastery of material, Art Forum said these works ‘[wavered] between abstraction and a detailed sense of realism.’
Leslie Shows, Face P, 2011.
Mylar, acrylic, plexiglass, sand, crushed glass and engraving on aluminum.
In other works, adds Tang, ‘Rust, mylar, acrylic, sand and Plexiglas are deployed to achieve surface textures that are both self-referential and other-worldly. They are, in essence, modern day narrative paintings, a fascinating compendium of textures and medium.’
Born in 1977, Leslie Shows graduated from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1999, and the California College of the Arts, San Francisco, in 2006. Her work has been featured solo exhibitions at institutions including the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Haines Gallery, and Jack Hanley Gallery, and in group shows at the Asian Art Museum, San Francisco and the Atlanta Contemporary Art Centre. She is the recipient of numerous accolades, including the Artadia Award (2009) and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2006).
Leslie Shows, FES2 TO S, 2011
Sulphure. Dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist and Haines Gallery/San Francisco